Sylvia Lim Says PM Lee Seeking Strong Mandate To Tackle Covid-19 Is “False Choice” For Voters
During Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s lunchtime rally yesterday (6 July), 2 words stood out — “strong mandate”.
He made it clear that the People’s Action Party (PAP) will need a “strong mandate” from citizens so that they can lead the country through Covid-19 crisis.
Workers’ Party (WP) chair Ms Sylvia Lim, however, said this is a “false choice” given to voters.
She trusts that at the end of the day, Singaporeans will support the government in handling the Covid-19 crisis regardless of who they vote into Parliament.
PM Lee seeking strong mandate is a “false choice”
Speaking to reporters during a walkabout with WP’s Sengkang GRC team today (7 July), Ms Lim emphasised the party’s view on the lunchtime rally — PM Lee was giving voters a “false choice”.
There’s actually no reason why the government will not be effective in tackling Covid-19… with a Parliament that does not consist of only elected PAP MPs.
Taiwan and New Zealand, as Ms Lim pointed out, are examples of territories with robust democracies, and have been dealing with the virus effectively.
In fact, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her party – New Zealand Labour Party – do not have the majority of seats in Parliament.
Ms Lim’s statement was in reference of the fact that Labour Party had gained only 46 of 120 seats in New Zealand’s august house during the 2017 polls.
Despite this, New Zealand had proven itself to be a model of recovery thanks to a strict lockdown and successfully flattening the Covid-19 curve. As a result, Ms Ardern and her team had earned worldwide praise.
Singaporeans will support government during Covid-19 either way
Back home, Singaporeans will know when there’s a need to come together to fight the Covid-19 crisis, and they will.
Ms Lim with WP’s Sengkang GRC candidates Raeesha Khan, Louis Chua, and He Tingru
Ms Lim quipped,
They will support the government in handling the Covid-19 crisis regardless of who they vote into Parliament.
Which is why, Ms Lim emphasised this before ending her answer,
Our view is that our PM is giving voters a false choice.
She believes the Singapore government can be just as effective in tackling Covid-19 with a Parliament that consists of more than just elected MPs from PAP.
Singaporeans will decide make up of government
PM Lee has always emphasised the need for the next government to have a strong mandate to handle Covid-19, even before the elections were called. In that aspect, his messaging has always been constant.
And while Ms Lim has a point when comparing us to Taiwan and New Zealand, these contexts may not apply to Singapore, where the populace may react differently to a looser grip on power by the government of the day.
Ultimately, as this is a new situation, it’s up to Singaporeans to decide whether we will get through the Covid-19 pandemic no matter what the make up of our government is like.
What do you think of Ms Lim’s response to PM Lee’s call? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Featured image by MS News.