Law Minister to WP: Do you want the bus to crash?

Fann Sim
K Shanmugam, leading the Neesoon GRC team, corrects the 'co-driver' analogy. (Yahoo! photo/Fann Sim)
K Shanmugam, leading the Neesoon GRC team, corrects the 'co-driver' analogy. (Yahoo! photo/Fann Sim)

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has urged the Worker's Party to rethink their bus "co-driver" analogy as the way forward for Singapore.

This after Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang had likened his party's role in Parliament to that of being the co-driver of a bus being driven by the ruling People's Action Party.

"A co-driver is there to slap the driver when he drives off course or when he falls asleep or drives dangerously," said Low, who is part of WP's A-team at Aljunied GRC, during his party rally on Thursday.

But speaking to the media on Friday, Minister Shanmugam responded that this could result in the bus crashing instead of enjoying a smooth drive as the WP promises.

"Do you really want a co-driver who will be fighting with the driver to take over the wheel and slapping, kicking him? Is this the way forward?" the minister asked.

In response to WP candidate Chen Show Mao's criticism of immigration policy during Thursday's rally, Shanmugam found it surprising that Chen would criticize it when he himself is the successful result of the policy that regulates the number of Singapore PRs and new citizens.

"If you look at the bus analogy, the people sitting in the bus are the people who have the right to ask for information. They are the ones who should be bringing up what the concerns of the people are," said Shanmugam.

He added, "If they believe that numbers are too large, they have the power to ask for information and then raise it as a specific point during parliament. Was that done? Or is this pure political opportunism?"

Shanmugam said WP chairman Ms Sylvia Lim made only one speech in Parliament 2006 on the issuse of foreign immigration and said that the WP welcomed foreigners who were able to contribute.

He believes that Singaporeans do not want a system where there is a co-driver, where a co-driver keeps "slapping the driver" and "tussling for the wheel".

When asked about the accusation that PAP is arrogant, Shanmugam replied, "Think about the people who say this. Did they give any examples to back it up? They just hope to generally create and ride on some discontent."

However, the Minister agreed on the presence of opposition and that Singaporeans deserve to be given serious policy choices by other parties.

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