WP “will keep close watch over Govt”
WP will hold its first election rally at the open field in front of Blk 183C Rivervale Crescent between 7pm and 10pm on Saturday.
Written by Ng E-Jay
19 January 2013
The Worker’s Party (WP) has said that the government should be given time to rectify its shortcomings, even as the party continues to cast a watchful eye and press for accountability.
WP Sec-Gen Mr Low Thia Khiang said in a brochure distributed to Punggol East residents that “while policy changes are still in progress, heightened politicking will not help Singapore”.
“It takes time for policy changes to take effect on the ground,” Mr Low added.
Mr Low highlighted the WP’s track record and affirmed it as a “credible and responsible opposition”. He said that ordinary folk now have more say in governance, and that the WP has championed a more humane society, where (the concept of) a First World nation extends beyond materialistic and elitist goals.
And while Mr Low reiterated WP’s commitment to helping Singapore and the PAP improve, he also asserted that the WP must “be ready one day to be an alternative choice for the people, especially if the ruling party should become incompetent or corrupt“.
The WP believes that it is in the interest of Singapore for citizens to “balance a strong executive government with a responsible opposition in Parliament to act as a check and balance and protect their rights”.
In my opinion, the WP must aim to go beyond playing the role of a watchdog and merely “casting a watchful eye” over the government.
It is must be remembered that PAP leaders have insisted time and again that it is not the responsibility of the ruling party or the government to “build up the opposition”.
Similarly, parties like WP should also note that it is not the responsibility of the opposition to help the incumbent remain entrenched in its current position of Parliamentary dominance.
As the only party to have full-fledged MPs in Parliament, WP must now take its role in national politics one step further, by devising credible alternative policies and engaging the ruling party more aggressively on the policy front.
If WP’s numbers in Parliament continue to expand in the future, it should also set up think-tanks, dedicated policy research units, and an informal shadow cabinet.
In order to play the role of a true opposition, the WP must first shed its current image of a reticent and quiet party which does not really challenge the PAP on policies and laws.
It must also work hard to recruit, retain and properly train its talent pool, and have a comprehensive succession plan in place.