Shanmugam pleased with WP's stance on sovereignty

This article is more than 12 months old

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday said he is glad Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh has reaffirmed the opposition party's commitment to Singapore's sovereignty.

In a Facebook post, he said: "I'm glad that Mr Pritam Singh has said that the WP under him will continue to stand squarely with the Government when it comes to foreign relations.

"This continues the stance that (former WP chief) Mr Low Thia Khiang took."

But the minister also said he "looks forward to" Mr Singh's response on whether the Aljunied GRC MP still believes poet and playwright Alfian Sa'at's views on Malaysia and Singapore merit his support.

He noted that Mr Singh "admits now that he hadn't examined these statements before declaring Mr Sa'at a 'loving critic' and admonishing the Government for not heeding Mr Sa'at's wisdom."

Mr Shanmugam's post is the latest in an exchange that began when Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng criticised Mr Singh in an article, published last Friday on the People's Action Party website, for speaking in support of Mr Alfian during the Fortitude Budget debate earlier this month.

Dr Tan had cited several of Mr Alfian's Facebook posts, which he said indicated the playwright's preference for Malaysia over Singapore.

Mr Shanmugam said Dr Tan had asked a "legitimate question" about whether Mr Singh, who is leader of the opposition, was aware of these posts.

Responding in a Facebook post on Sunday night, Mr Singh said there can be no doubt where the WP has stood and continues to stand - with Singapore.

He added that he appreciates the diverse views of theatre practitioners, as these develop a thinking population.

"Singaporeans like Mr Alfian Sa'at do not deserve to be admonished in Parliament on the basis of a selective reading of their works," he said. "However, should any Singaporean consistently establish that he or she rejects Singapore or our Constitution or runs Singapore down with a political agenda overseas, neither I, nor the WP will stand for such conduct."

Calling on the WP chief to make his views on Mr Sa'at's position clear, Mr Shanmugam added: "He need not rush to examine those statements... but I hope to hear his views on them in good time."

Singapore Politics