GE2020: Surge of credible, capable alternative candidates in this election – Lee Hsien Yang

·3-min read
Lee Hsien Yang is locked in a long-running row with his sibling, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Progress Singapore Party member Lee Hsien Yang. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore is seeing a surge of credible and capable alternative candidates at this General Election, said Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Lee Hsien Yang in a Facebook post on Sunday (5 July).

The younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong added that many of these candidates, who are not from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), are caring and authentic, and have impressive qualities and qualifications.

“What matters even more is their preparedness to speak out fearlessly for the needs of their fellow Singaporeans,” he wrote in his Facebook post.

“Standing for the opposition needs character and courage in a way that standing on a PAP ticket does not. It demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice for our country.”

Entering political arena a ‘career step’ for PAP candidates

Lee, who joined PSP a few months ago, had been seen at PSP walkabouts during the past few days of GE campaigning. He had been speculated to participate as an opposition candidate at this election, but did not submit his nomination form on Tuesday.

He wrote in his Facebook post that, for many PAP candidates, entering the political arena appears like a “career step”.

“They are supported by a huge machinery, have the benefits of makeovers and the prospect of a parachute into Parliament on the coat-tails of a Minister,” he said.

“Given party expectations and obligations, and the party whip, they rarely speak up in Parliament to question issues of importance and they predictably vote as the party directs. For them, entering politics looks like a calculated career move rather than a sacrifice or service.”

He contrasted the PAP candidates with PSP secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock, whom he said has always been his own man, a rare Member of Parliament “who exercised independence of mind”.

Vote opposition for voices in Parliament: Lee

Lee ended his post by encouraging voters to vote for the opposition, for them to be “our voices and our vote in Parliament”.

“Opposition MPs will question unpopular policies... Speaking their minds and tenacious questioning is how they will protect us from abuse of power and help create transparency and accountability,” Lee wrote.

“For accountability, we need our elected representatives in Parliament to be willing to speak up and uncover the truth behind the PAP’s claims.”

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