Why WP walks its own path: Low Thia Khiang

Yahoo! Newsroom22 January 2013
Why WP walks its own path: Low Thia Khiang
Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang explained in a rare moment why his party does not participate in discussion for opposition unity. (Yahoo! photo)

Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang says the opposition in Singapore is a "convoluted, complicated" entity, revealing the reason why it does not collaborate with other parties.

Speaking during the party's second rally of the Punggol East by-election on Tuesday, Low said he had met a lot of opposition supporters who hope for the opposition to develop and become stronger.

"They often feel pained by the disparity between and disunity of the parties here, and the state of the political opposition in Singapore. I understand their disappointment and hopes," he said in Mandarin.

In what might perhaps be a reference to why the WP did not entertain the idea of fielding a joint candidate, as proposed by the Singapore Democratic Party's Chee Soon Juan prior to Nomination Day, Low continued, "The opposition is a convoluted, complicated thing -- made up of different people, different parties, different leaders, different ways of questioning the government, even."

Low explained that is why after the 1997 general election, which saw the opposition MP count halve from four to two, the WP "decided to forge its own path".

"Singapore is a democratic country. Anyone can form their own party and stand for election. There are different opposition parties that have different opinions, different priorities and differing manners in handling things. Which model best works for Singapore?

"Uniting all the opposition parties is an unrealistic vision and an impossible dream. Unity must not be contrived, because such a union would not work out well. We will not only not be able to progress, but will conversely end up disintegrating, and Singaporeans will lose faith in the possibility of a credible opposition," he added.

"The Workers' Party walks its own road -- albeit one that is heavily criticised -- not out of disrespect for other members of the opposition, but because we do not want history to repeat itself."

He also reminded voters that during the Hougang by-election last year, people tried to derail the WP and incite rifts from within the party.

"Those people were wasting their time!" he stated.