Opposition will form ‘rojak’ government: Lim Swee Say


Labour chief and leader of the PAP team contesting in East Coast GRC Lim Swee Say likens the concept of a coalition government to a bowl of 'rojak'. (Yahoo! photo / Jeanette Tan)

If the People's Action Party (PAP) loses its majority in parliament in the coming election, Singapore's government will become like a big bowl of rojak, says Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say.

Speaking at the PAP rally at Bedok stadium on Sunday, the leader of PAP's East Coast GRC team told the estimated 3,000-strong crowd that Singapore would become direction-less should the Opposition one day win the majority of seats in Parliament.

Referring to the Malay mixed salad dish, Minister Lim said, "This would be something like a plate of rojak, where parties simply put their pet projects onto the table, without a single direction for Singapore."

"It would be a rojak government coming up with rojak policies. The government would a big bowl of rojak," he said to laughs and cheers from the audience of spectators, some of whom had followed him from the NTUC May Day celebrations at the Indoor stadium earlier in the afternoon.

Residents from Buona Vista, where PAP East Coast GRC team leader Lim Swee Say served in previously, threw their weight behind him with their presence, complete with banners and flags. (Yahoo! photo / Jeanette Tan)

Lim, who is  secretary-general of the National Trade Union Congress, also joked to the would only be willing to give up his leadership of NTUC, as well as his seat at East Coast GRC, to someone who is "younger, smarter, and better looking" than him.

"So far, looking at the opposition camp, I haven't found a better, younger Lim Swee Say yet," he added, tongue-in-cheek.

Transport minister and PAP candidate for East Coast GRC Raymond Lim says that the metaphorical 'bus' that had been raised by WP chief Low Thia Khiang is no ordinary bus. (Yahoo! photo / Jeanette Tan)

During the three-hour rally, Transport Minister Raymond Lim also took aim at Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang's concept of co-driving.

He said in Mandarin, "Singapore is no ordinary bus -- in fact, it is an airbus. And if a co-driver of this airbus were to slap the driver simply because he doesn't like the driver, and if it were flying, the plane would certainly fall from the sky."

He then asked the crowd if they wanted a government like that, to a resounding "No!" from ardent supporters.

Other speakers who were present at the rally that night included Senior Minister S. Jayakumar -- who highlighted the need for a "first world governance", instead of a "first world parliament" -- and speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tamugi, who told the crowd about the parliamentary system in Singapore.

"Our MPs (members of parliament) are as rigorous as in any other parliament," he said.

"In fact, I am more lenient to opposition MPs in terms of speaking time than I am to my own MPs," he added.

For some East Coast residents, though, the comparison between the PAP rally and the Workers' Party one held at the same location the night before, was telling.

Many residents Yahoo! Singapore spoke to said that the atmosphere at the Workers' Party rally was much more lively, and there were many more attendees.

However, many were still ardent supports of the PAP.

51-year-old salesperson Gina Lim, who travelled to Bedok stadium from her home in Jurong East, said she has attended every PAP rally that she can make it for.

"I don't need to attend any opposition rallies; what I read in the newspaper and watch on TV is sufficient to show me that they are like gangsters," she said.

70-year-old retiree S. Pillai was a Buona Vista resident who travelled to Bedok to support Lim Swee Say at the rally.

"He's (Lim) been very good to us, and he looked after us and the constituency very well--that's why I still come here to support him," he said.

Graduating student Wu Shi'en, 25, felt that the presence of heavyweights such as Prof Jayakumar and Abdullah Tarmugi also added credibility to the speeches, compared to WP speeches the night before.

"Tonight's rally was more down to earth, with less fluff and more substance. The WP yesterday tended to play on human emotions without tackling innate issues," he said.

Follow Yahoo! News on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

This article is published by Yahoo! Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd., 60 Anson Road #13-01 Mapletree Anson, Singapore, 079914.