Leader of Opposition role in line with conventions in UK: Pritam, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Leader of Opposition role in line with conventions in UK: Pritam

This article is more than 12 months old

The broad scope of duties, privileges and remuneration one would get as Leader of the Opposition (LO) is largely in line with the conventions of the British Parliament, said Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh.

He added that he would speak more about his party's approach in Parliament for the coming term after the House reopens on Aug 24.

His remarks, made in a Facebook post yesterday, came after a joint press release by the Offices of the Speaker of Parliament and Leader of the House set out the duties and privileges of the LO.

Mr Singh, a lawyer, said he had met with Leader of the House Grace Fu and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday about his appointment.

Posting a photo of Erskine May's Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, he noted on Facebook that many Commonwealth Parliaments recognise it as the "bible" of parliamentary practice.

"The broad scope of duties, privileges and remuneration extended to Singapore's Leader of the Opposition as outlined in the joint press release largely follows the spirit of the convention towards the Leader of the Opposition as practised by the UK Parliament," he said.

He added he would extend his support to the Progress Singapore Party's two Non-Constituency MPs, given the staff and resources he will have.

Mr Singh was appointed to the role after the WP made historic gains in the July 10 polls, winning 10 Parliamentary seats and its second group representation constituency.

In his first electoral outing as party chief, Mr Singh led the WP to victory in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, both of which it retained with improved margins of 59.95 per cent and 61.21 per cent of votes respectively.

The WP also grabbed the new Sengkang GRC with 52.12 per cent of votes, pulling off the biggest upset of General Election 2020.

Observers saw the move to designate Mr Singh as LO as a big step in the evolution of Singapore's parliamentary system, and said it would consolidate the WP's position as the leading opposition party here.

Parliament will reopen on Aug 24 with the President's Address, and the debate on it will start a week later, on Aug 31.

Singapore Politics