On 9th Oct 2020, the New Naratif uploaded a video of the keynote lecture that Thum Ping Tjin delivered at the PSP’s (Progress Singapore Party) fundraising dinner on 1st Oct 2020.
In the keynote lecture, Thum Ping Tjin said that the WP (Worker’s Party) has, by and large, accepted the PAP’s (People’s Action Party) ideologies and their definition of national identity.
Firstly, he says that the WP has accepted the PAP’s position on human rights by announcing that it will not fight for the repeal of the 377A. And that it would make the WP look like absolute hypocrites if they ever tried to fight for issues relating to human rights in the future.
Secondly, Thum Ping Tjin says that much like the PAP, the WP has also taken on a technocratic approach towards imposing solutions, that it is supportive of having a bunch of elites manage and govern the society through policy. Thum Ping Tjin cited the example of how Jamus Lim’s talk on the minimum wage was very “technical and limited”, and all about how to make the policy correct. Thum Ping Tjin said that Jamus did not even talk about empowering the labour unions or even the workers to fight for themselves.
Thirdly, Thum Ping Tjin mentioned the Raeesah Khan incident, where the WP could have responded by standing with Raeesah Khan, and include a honest discussion that racial discrimination is really happening in society. Instead, the WP chose to neutralize criticism by behaving like the PAP, by demonstrating moral virtue, apologizing and admitting to mistakes and to move on. A method which has allowed the PAP to get away with many “honest mistakes”.
In summary, Thum Ping Tjin says that the WP is sending a message, that their values as a party and their vision of Singapore’s national identity are fundamentally the same as the PAP.
Thum Ping Tjin concluded by saying that:
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if the people of Singapore were to believe that the PAP’s long term vision and definition of national identity is the problem, then the WP is no longer the solution, but actually part of the problem.
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