With an election expected this year, and the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) problems with the housing and employment issues in Singapore, this look like an election where the opposition parties of Singapore have a chance to score some gains.
As expected, a spat had erupted among the opposition parties. Member of Parliament, Mr. Chiam See Tong, had long had a problem with current Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) secretary- general Dr. Chee Soon Juan.
Mr. Chiam was reportedly forced out of his previous party, the SDP, in 1993 but in Dr. Chee Soon Juan's version of events, that was untrue as he said he never had any intention to force Mr. Chiam out of the party and it was Mr Chiam who was bent on quitting. Mr. Chiam’s wife, Mrs Lina Chiam, 61, then came out and said that Dr. Chee's version of events was only "half of the truth". Singaporeans are shaking their head and saying this is another incident when the opposition is more interested in taking pot-shots at each other than the PAP.
But you know what; I don’t think this is a bad thing. First off, Singaporeans really need to rid of their thinking that the opposition is a united front. It’s not, and it never been a united front.
How could they be when they all belong to different political parties fighting for different causes. The Workers Party (used to) fight for more rights for workers; the SDP fight for freedom and human rights; the Singapore People's Party…okay, it’s just a political vehicle for Chiam See Tong, but the main thing is they are all different political parties with different agendas and it is inevitable that they would clash on occasion.
Call me crazy but I think this is healthy! These are politicians who are doing what they’re doing because they want to come out in front. That’s a good thing! Nothing is for free and political mud-slinging like this is normal. Even in the PAP with its iron-clad discipline, we had heard of politicians falling out with each other, so what’s new?
So before any Singaporeans start shaking their head about how disunited the opposition is, they should remember one simple thing; they were never together in the first place and these are politicians; getting down and dirty with each other is what they do.