Tamil speaker at PAP’s broadcasts is ‘show of respect’: Shanmugam

This article is more than 12 months old

The People's Action Party (PAP) sent a Tamil-speaking minister to the party political broadcasts as a sign of respect to Tamils in Singapore, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.

The party takes all four official languages seriously, he added, but having a Tamil speaker at the broadcast is the PAP's way of saying to the Tamil population in Singapore that they are valued.

He said: "That's not just because of reaching out to the ground in Tamil. That is important, but it's also a show of respect to the Tamil population that we value you.

"We respect you. And we will make sure that we show that in these ways... that they are very important, very significant."

Mr Shanmugam, who is the anchor minister for the PAP team in Nee Soon GRC, was responding to questions from the media on Saturday on the small number of Tamil-speaking candidates who had been fielded to speak at the broadcasts.

The first party political broadcast for the July 10 election was aired on July 2. The PAP put out messages in all four languages.

Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran spoke in Tamil, and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat spoke in English.

Trade and and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke in Mandarin while Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman spoke in Malay.

Seven political parties had party political broadcasts.

The PAP, the Progress Singapore Party and the Peoples Voice party had sent Tamil speakers, while the Workers' Party, Singapore Democratic Party, National Solidarity Party and Reform Party did not do so. - THE STRAITS TIMES