PM Lee Hsien Loong must have calculated that his broadside on 12 July against the Workers' Party (WP) and its secretary-general Low Thia Khiang following the pompous blustering speech by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan in Parliament on 9 July would be certain to bring public wrath against the WP with consequent loss of public confidence. In the present political climate, little does PM Lee realise that his words no longer command the public respect and his bluster of lack of integrity and honesty against WP MPs Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr. Pritam Singh cuts no ice with the public. People were wondering why the prime minister and his million-dollar cabinet members should be concerned with a mundane hawker centre cleaning dispute which to all intents and purposes had been settled when they should quite rightly be looking into national issues in order to justify their colossal salaries.
This is not unlike a disguised form of witch hunting. First Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr. Pritam Singh were accused of making false and untruthful statements which could not be verified conclusively even with so-called iron clad documentary evidence. Then out of nowhere Mr. Pritam Singh was accused of plagiarism by PM Lee for passing off an Internet article "word for word" as his own in a parliamentary speech. Mr. Pritam had the permission of the author to use the Internet article and how on earth could PM Lee in his right mind have made such a terrible blunder? Is it not fair that Mr. Pritam Singh should expect an apology for having been put to such unnecessary distress?
The issue of WP AHPETC hawker centre cleaning row has been transformed into a mountain from a molehill and it should be clear to PM Lee and his cabinet colleagues that it would not be to their advantage to continue to harass the WP on it. Public opinion on this matter is evenly distributed on both sides. So it will be wise, albeit painful, for PM Lee to let the matter rest for the time being.
It shows the mediocre calibre of a politician when he says: politics is a contest for power. So Dr. Balakrishnan is in politics for the sole purpose of contesting for power and not for the purpose of serving the people. If his political doctrine is representative of all PAP ministers and MPs, do you not think that Singaporeans who have all along been asserting that PAP ministers are self-serving who are in politics for the money are correct in their assessment? The PAP ministers are paying themselves astronomical (many call it obscene) salaries from taxpayers' money and have the impudence to call this as service to the people. Where in other parts of the world can one find a prime minister drawing a salary four or five times that of the American President? And is Singapore bigger than America with its prime minister being more important and holding greater responsibility than the American President? When GE 2016 comes along, Singaporeans should know what to do and opposition parties should, besides other bigger issues, capitalise on these two issues of politics is not for serving the people but contest for power and ministerial salaries in the election campaign.