At the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) biennial conference on 6 November 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Secretary-General of the PAP, called out the opposition for ‘lying low’ on thorny issues, and that it should take a clear stand for issues especially if it aims to win more seats in Parliament and eventually take over the Government.
Did the Opposition make a stand?
What Mr Singh said back in 2019, was what the PAP Ministers exactly did – Ministers Masagos, Shanmugam, Edwin Tong, Desmond Lee and more, spent weeks and months meeting contending groups with strong, passionately held views on S377A. Much effort was put into explaining, listening, and bringing people to gradually accept what is to be done.
It also said that “Singapore is a pluralistic society that consists of multiple religions, ethnicities, cultures and languages. Mutual accommodation and tolerance are critical considerations for legislation in our context.”
All in all, it’s the status quo for the WP. From their statements from 2019 to now, it seems that they would very much prefer not to touch this ‘can of worms’ on their own initiative. It said that Singapore must balance the S377A issue while addressing issues of high inflation and cost of living. So where does the S377A issue rank for WP?
Plucking the low-hanging fruits
The opposition recorded their dissent against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Amendment bill that was read for the second time on 7 Nov. The key premise of the opposition was that it was “unnecessary” to raise the GST at this period where Singapore confronts high inflation and rising cost of living.