PAP MP clarifies ‘inaccurate’ remarks made at forum


PAP MP Vikram Nair steps up to clarify that a quote allegedly made by him at a recent forum was "inaccurate". (Facebook screengrab)

People's Action Party (PAP) MP Vikram Nair says a quote attributed to him at a recent forum was "inaccurate".

Posting a note on his Facebook page on Tuesday titled "The 60/40 story", he said that the "quote" was the opposite of what he meant.

At a recent forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on 8 July, Nair -- who represented the PAP -- was one of the panelists discussing about the renewal process of the respective political parties.

The other panelists were Workers' Party's (WP) Pritam Singh and Hazel Poa of the National Solidarity Party (NSP).

In his speech, the Sembawang GRC MP had touched on the various ways in which the PAP is renewing itself, "in terms of its people, approach and its policies".

Towards the end of his speech, Nair had said that, "One of the things one of my friends reminded me was, you can change, but don't change for the 40% and ignore the 60% that voted for you."

He added that this was the balance which his party ought to bear in mind in its renewal process.

However, he was instead quoted by an article dated 8 July by news agency the Associated Press as saying, "Don't focus too much on the 40 per cent that didn't vote for you. We have to remember and keep in mind the interests of the 60 per cent that did."

This "quote" went viral and is believed to have been picked up by various online sites and further disseminated via social media tools such as Facebook.

Netizens and critics alike were quick to hit out at the MP for his "cocky attitude", with some commenting that his words were "very high-handed and paternalistic".

In his Facebook note, Nair said the quote gave an impression that there was no need for the PAP to change and "I was somehow going to ignore everyone who did not vote for the PAP".

"Naturally, this upset many readers.  Indeed, I would be upset if I heard that from my MP too," he added.