MustShareMail: The Workers’ Party Should Come Back Stronger With Pritam Singh In Sengkang
No matter if you’re a PAP or an opposition voter, I believe one topic unites Singaporeans: lying is a big no-no.
This is especially when you’re entrusted with the responsibility of being an MP — like Ms Raeesah Khan of Sengkang GRC is.
Unfortunately, her apology on 1 Nov for falsely saying she’d accompanied a sexual assault victim to a police station has been met with disappointment from voters across the political spectrum.
Although Ms Raeesah wanted to speak up on behalf of rape victims and call for police officers to be better trained to handle their cases, her means don’t justify her ends.
We’ve yet to see if Ms Raeesah steps down from her Workers’ Party MP role. But one thing is clear – she wasn’t prepared for it, given this incident and her 2020 apology for alleging racial discrimination by the police.
Nobody’s perfect. But when you’re an opposition MP, all eyes are on you and you’re obliged not to let people down. So it’s only right that Ms Raeesah steps away from politics for the time being.
Therefore, I suggest that Leader of the Opposition Mr Pritam Singh contest in her place in Sengkang GRC during the next election – scheduled by 2025 – to regain the trust of hearts and minds not just in Sengkang, but also in the whole of Singapore.
I don’t envy Mr Pritam. It’s a tough job to hold your party’s junior MP responsible for her mistake — and he did so on 1 Nov by saying that MPs’ “freedom of speech does not extend to communicating untruthful accounts, even if an MP’s motives are not malicious”.
Recall how he’d also held Ms Raeesah responsible in July 2020 for her past allegations as well, saying, “In the event there are certain posts or certain comments that [WP candidates] may have made which are untoward, then I would expect them to explain themselves.” Saying that took guts and earned Singaporeans’ respect.
Mr Pritam should go one step further in demonstrating the WP’s commitment to fielding candidates who can represent our concerns with integrity by taking her spot in Sengkang GRC.
After all, the WP cannot let their Sengkang GRC victory in 2020 be a one-hit-wonder.
Like how Mr Low Thia Khiang left his secure Hougang SMC spot to contest in Aljunied GRC in 2011, Mr Pritam moving to Sengkang GRC will be proof of the WP’s commitment to serving the people sincerely.
Singaporeans, when this incident is done and dusted, let’s remember: we need credible opposition and minority candidates to represent our concerns in Parliament.
Ms Raeesah may not have met the mark, but others such as Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam, Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap, Mr Leon Perera, and Mr Pritam Singh himself have proven their mettle as MPs.
I hope that future minority and opposition MP candidates get the wise mentorship they need and prove worthy of all Singaporeans’ support.
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