The government looks forward to working with new Worker’s Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh and the party to “put Singapore and Singaporeans’ interests first”, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Monday (14 May).
Speaking in Parliament in Mandarin, Chan also paid tribute to former WP chief Low Thia Khiang for his contributions to Singapore by putting on record the government’s appreciation of him as leader of his party for the last 17 years.
“Although Mr Low is a member of the opposition, he is nevertheless a fellow Singaporean and very much a part of Team Singapore. While we may not always agree with his methods or perspectives, we nevertheless appreciate his efforts to work together to build a better Singapore as leader of the Workers’ Party,” said Chan.
“From his speeches, we can detect his pride in Singapore and his determination to defend our sovereignty,” he added.
Chan was speaking during a sitting to thank President Halimah Yacob after she gave the opening address of the second session of Parliament last Monday (7 May).
Politics is not just about winning votes but about serving the country and its people, according to Chan.
“Winning votes by stoking anger and unhappiness may be a common practice in politics elsewhere, but this is negative politics and it’s not constructive. To win the hearts and votes of our people, we must work hard to develop sound policies for our common future,” Chan said.
A “never-ending” challenge for Singapore is to find “good people” to serve the country, he added.
“Agreeing with us is not the prerequisite. Agreeing to put Singapore first and foremost is the prerequisite. Our leadership model is to have overlapping generations of leadership teams to help the next generation do even better,” Chan said.
In response, Singh thanked Chan for his comments on WP and Low’s contributions to the country over the years.
“The Workers’ Party will always bear in mind national interests in our deliberations and endeavours in the interests of Singapore and Singaporeans,” said Singh.