Singapore Prime Minister and People's Action Party chief Lee Hsien Loong has launched his fiercest salvo against the opposition ahead of the next General Elections due to be held by January 2017.
Speaking at the PAP60 Rally at Singapore Expo on Sunday in front of 6,000 party cadres, PM Lee didn't mince his words as he called the next General Elections a "deadly serious fight".
“The next GE is critical for Singapore and for us. It is not just about expressing approval or disapproval. It is not just about winning a seat in Parliament. It is not a by-election,” he said, adding that the PAP intends to contest every seat and win back the WP-held Aljunied, Punggol East and Hougang constituencies.
“The next GE is about choosing a clear vision for Singapore, choosing a capable leadership for Singapore, choosing a brighter future for Singapore,” he said adding that the whole of Singapore is "at stake".
“Our future is at stake because if we do not remain a nation of opportunity, our children will have no future. Our society is at stake because if we do not uphold a fair and just society, our society will be pulled apart. Our country is at stake. If the PAP fails, Singapore is in deep trouble. We shall not fail.”
Taking aim at the opposition -- and the Workers' Party in particular -- PM Lee said, “They say they can’t form the Government, no need for (a) vision. In fact, they dare say that, not because they can’t form the Government, but because they are trying to avoid answering hard questions, until well after they are elected. Maybe even after that, they will waffle,” he said.
He also referenced the WP's familiar rallying cry of acting as a "check" on the ruling PAP party.
“If everybody accepts what they say, we’ll have a lot of checkers, but no workers... For every one more checker you have in Parliament, there’ll be one fewer doer, thinker or leader in the Government to serve the nation, to serve the people," said PM Lee.
“Eventually there’ll be no more PAP to check. There’ll be no able team of ministers working and solving problems for Singapore, no progress for Singapore, no future for Singapore. That will be the last ‘check’, because it will be checkmate!”
PM Lee also said the PAP was different from other political parties, again taking a dig at the WP, who've been under the recent spotlight for its lack of transparency in its Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) records and also its lack of a clear position on many national policies.
“When we face problems, we acknowledge them publicly and deal with them. We do not pretend there’s no problem: ‘No comment, studying the matter, thinking about it, will verify one day’. We settle now,” he said. “If you lie low, hoping the public will forget the issue and the issue will go away, the public will forget you and you might as well go away.”
The PAP, he said, brings different groups together, solves problems and plans for the future.
“In short, only the PAP truly cares for the people and for the future of our children and grandchildren,” he said.