sda leong

Fix Problems, Not People: The SDA Supports Mr Leong Mun Wai’s Push for Transparency

Dear Friends,

Progress Singapore Party NCMP Mr Leong Mun Wai has been asking important questions in parliament regarding the GST hike and displacement of Singaporean PMETs by foreigners.

All this, in the interest of Common Singaporeans like you and I.

However, instead of receiving clear answers, he has been shut out.

When Mr Leong questioned Finance Minister Lawrence Wong about whether middle-class Singaporeans will bear a high burden of the GST hike, he was met with an evasive answer.

Mr Wong even chided him in parliament when he asked for figures pertaining to personal income tax, refusing to disclose those figures.

He condescendingly stated that as Finance Minister he would know and the public just has to take his word for it.

When Mr Leong questioned Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng regarding the breakdown of newly-created PMET jobs going to Singaporeans, PRs and New Citizens, he was again chided with a “please have a care” and told not to disrupt social harmony in Singapore.

Needless to say, Dr Tan never disclosed those numbers and to add insult to injury, ungraciously cast some derogatory remarks Mr Leong’s way.

Maybe it’s because, as Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan stated when he put his foot in his mouth, Mr Leong must have come from a “lousy school”.

Even if that school happens to be Raffles Institution.

This bullying behaviour by the Ivory Tower PAP-led government must stop.

How can it be that parliamentarians, acting in the interest of Singaporeans, can simply get shut down like this?

How will opposition MPs formulate solid and credible alternative plans for public policy if important data is withheld from them, even in parliament?

Conversely, is it fair that if they slip up just a little because important data is wilfully blocked from their reach, they get cut down by the POFMA axe?

Bear in mind that this whole “we know but we won’t tell you” state of affairs has been going on for a long time.

Even in 2020, when Workers’ Party leader Pritam Singh pressed for data on the number of new jobs that went to Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners, he was met with this now infamous response by then-Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, “We can get you the numbers. But let me say this: ‘What is the point behind the question?’”

The SDA calls for more transparency from the PAP-led government in matters related to public interest, instead of setting up diversionary minefields for its political opponents.

In short – fix problems, not people.

Desmond Lim
Singapore Democratic Alliance

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