Reading between the lines of statements by Workers’ Party members

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Since news broke that Opposition Leader Pritam Singh and MP Faisal Manap could face criminal charges, there has been a flurry of online activity. Some expressed despair, while others exuded steely resilience. Some even found solace in last year’s National Day song saying – “We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again.”

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We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

This song reference is relevant because, if you think about it. We have faced this before and we will overcome it again. As WP’s answer notes, since its “its founding in 1957, the Workers’ Party has gone through many trials and tribulations.” The most recent happened just 10 weeks ago.

The range of feelings on display remind us of what happened late on the night of December 3, 2021. If you recall, Raeesah’s explosive ‘evidence’ was made public just before midnight. Within minutes, we issued a quick cautionary note to anyone evaluating the evidence.

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To no one’s surprise, all weekend the mainstream media had a field day hitting WPs from every possible angle. The rumor mill ran wild, especially in light of what many perceived to be “WP’s defeated silence”. Many were quick to strike WP off, but those same people were nowhere to be found after Pritam finished testifying.

@wakeupsingapore#workersparty #pritamsingh #leaderofopposition #edwintong #COP #wp #singaporetiktok #singaporepolitics #singapore #singaporetrending #pritam♬ original sound – wakeupsingapore – wakeupsingapore

WP didn’t see the need to engage in a tit-for-tat answer. Instead, he took his time and waited for an opportunity to tell his side of the story at the COP hearings. When it was their turn to take the support chair, they were calm, collected and frank. They captured the hearts and minds of many Singaporeans across the island. Even those not naturally opposition supporters admitted that WP MPs performed well under immense pressure and scrutiny.

A dear friend I spoke to earlier today shared this meme, which I found brilliant and, like most good memes, true:

This will be a repeat of the last time:

1) The news comes out
2) Everyone says siao liao wtf sia?!?!
3) WP responds
4) Everyone is impressed

@wakeupsingapore#pritamsingh #workersparty #COP #edwintong #leaderofopposition #pritam #wp♬ original sound – wakeupsingapore – wakeupsingapore

Well, in times like these, the best place to seek advice is from those who have walked this path before and will continue to walk this path. Over the past 24 hours, many WP leaders, past and present, have written their thoughts on the latest developments. These statements merit closer examination.

Pritam Singh

First, we start with the man of the hour, Pritam Singh. His statement was released less than an hour after the press release. He acknowledged the worst-case scenario where he and Faisal could lose their parliamentary seats, but ended on a note of quiet confidence in how the cause and the work will remain intact.

I reviewed the COP report and its recommendation to refer Faisal Manap and me to prosecution. I will talk more about the COP’s report to Parliament when it is tabled for debate, which is expected to take place next week.

Assuming that Parliament adopts the Committee’s recommendations, there are still a number of unknowns. These include the Crown’s eventual decision to prosecute, the length of time before the case goes to trial, the eventual verdict and any sentencing, and the prospect that Faisal and me lose our parliamentary seats and that we resign as deputies. if either of us is fined $2,000 or more.

Until there is a resolution to these issues which may still take some time, Faisal and I will continue our work – including but not limited to MPS, estate walks, site visits at home and other parliamentary commitments – as usual. The same goes for Team The Workers’ Party and its activities, including our outreach efforts in previously contested constituencies.

As always, Sylvia, Faisal and I are grateful to the public for their support of the Workers’ Party, and the three of us, like our party colleagues, will continue to serve to the best of our abilities. Finally, we thank the public for your encouragement and support for the efforts of the Workers’ Party in building a more democratic Singapore, of which all Singaporeans can be proud. This work will continue.

Reference has also been made to the time it takes for a convict to be inflicted. This moment is significant because it will not only affect Pritam and Faisal’s status as MPs now, but it will also disqualify them from running for office for the next 5 years. So if Pritam and Faisal are indeed charged, convicted, and fined $2,000 or more, they could not only lose their seats, but also be barred from running in the next 1 or 2 elections (assuming 2 elections take place within 5 years – it has already happened). But until then, if that happens, it will be business as usual for the duo and the party as a whole.

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He also shared a cute postcard he received from a well-wisher, who pledged his support for the party.

No photo description available.

workers’ party

The WP issued a statement just after 11:00 a.m. on February 11, 2022. In its statement, it expressed its serious concern and clarified the different sentences proposed by the COP for Raeesah and for the WP MPs. To maintain professionalism, he couldn’t go so far as to say “How can liddat?”, but we can all read between the lines.

What we found interesting was how WP’s statements situate the current situation among historical struggles, trials and tribulations. Reference was also made to their second secretary general, the late JB Jeyaretnam’s criminal proceedings in the 1980s. The message was simple, but powerful: we have been here before, we have come out stronger. We can and we will again.

Chua Kheng Wee

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Chua, WP MP for Sengkang, took a darker tone in his posts. On Instagram and Facebook, he posted a black and white photo with a one-liner.

Considering that Chua is the only RCMP MP from Sengkang to speak, it seems that his concise message is aimed directly at the people of Sengkang. No glitz or glam, just good old-fashioned groundwork. This message echoes the sentiments of the note to residents of Sengkang dated December 3, 2021. This is essentially to let residents know that at the constituency level, they will continue to be served and represented to the best of their abilities. WP.

Lee Li Lian

Ex-MP Lee Li Lian replaces Raeesah Khan at Sengkang GRC - Reuters

Lee Li Lian, who is credited by many with helping WP break through in Singapore’s northeast, served as MP for Punggol East from 2013 to 2015. In the 2013 Punggol East by-election, she defeated the doctor who would become a minister. of State for Health (through another constituency, of course).

On several occasions, she helped Raeesah to help with constituency work. She is also a municipal councilor of Sengkang GRC. Earlier today, after a social media hiatus, she came forward to speak about her newfound fear that people would think twice before serving in an opposition party.

One thing is clear – Lee Li Lian’s message was heartfelt and genuine. It wasn’t entirely in line with the usual tone of previous posts we’ve read, and that’s fine. In recounting her reasons for taking the plunge the first time, she explained how strongly she believed there was nothing to worry about. She still believes there’s nothing to worry about, but her concern is how potential new faces might take a different point of view.

On the contrary, we think Li Lian can take comfort in the fact that many of these new faces would also be exposed to alternative viewpoints and perspectives via social media. The state narrative is not the only one they are exposed to. These same young men and women are tough people, not too easily swayed or deterred.

It’s a shot in the dark here, but dare we say that WP will come out of this episode stronger, even if the worst-case scenario occurs. Every time a Pritam is banned from running for office, 5 others will rise up and take their place.

People just don’t like injustice. People don’t like bullies either. And there’s nothing people love more than an underdog.

Yee Jenn Jong

We end with the perspective of former NCMP Yee Jenn Jong. Yee, a party stalwart, fought in 3 elections for WP. Most famously in 2011, in his first political outing, he lost Joo Chiat SMC to a PAP MP by just 388 votes. Unsurprisingly, in the next GE, Joo Chiat SMC ceased to exist.

In a Facebook post, he shared a personal anecdote from his bestseller, Journey in Blue. He echoed Li Lian’s feelings about how some might be”to extinguishby the antics of the PAP. Such a situation, Yee argues, would not be in Singapore’s interest as the political arena may not attract the best people.

Yee also joked that if the PAP were successful, the number of elected opposition members could soon fall below 9. He also shared a 2006 article in which Prime Minister Lee apologized for a speech on the “reparation of the opposition”.

If you don’t know what Yee is referring to, you can watch Prime Minister Lee’s infamous “fix the opposition” speech below.

@wakeupsingapore

Prime Minister Lee on ‘fixing’ the opposition

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