On 22 November 2014, The Online Citizen carried an article by Teo Soh Lung claiming that there is no necessity making unsubstantiated accusations against Singaporeans.
In the article, Teo Soh Lung highlighted that Singaporeans have a right to support any party they want. In the same article, Soh Lung accused the Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee for spreading falsehoods and half-truths online, and went on to say that name calling is the trademark of People’s Action Party (PAP) leaders.
While Teo Soh Lung makes compelling arguments, what is strange is that Teo Soh Lung only holds the government to this high standard, but makes no such demands of the opposition and their supporters who deliberately spread lies online.
In fact, I am certain that the government does not begrudge the opposition, but only asks that the opposition does not pursue populist policies at the expense of Singapore's future. There is absolutely nothing wrong in being a sympathizer of the Worker's Party (WP). What is wrong is pretending to be independent and secretly acting as agents of the opposition to smear the government. Teo Soh Lung is right that indeed there is no climate of fear today and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, there is also no climate of restraint today. It is now highly fashionable to sip champagne and spout the politics of opposition. But whether that is a good or bad thing depends on what it leads people to do.
In the case of the AHPETC saga, the questions raised about the state of financial affairs are reasonable ones regardless of who makes them. This is because ultimately it is the residents (fellow Singaporeans) who pay the price. It is silence of the WP that is sad and troubling. Instead of answering questions about the real and current state of arrears and finances of the Town Council (something any administration of a TC should be able to give readily because the records should all be there), the WP instead chooses to feed all kind of information for their supporters to raise on the social media to distract from the matter at hand.
Once again, there is nothing wrong if opposition supporters want the PAP to answer. The problem lies in the fact that opposition supporters do not extend the same rigor to the Worker’s Party. Like the Worker’s Party, the PAP also needs to answer to the electorate. This is because, as TSL pointed out, Singaporeans have matured and know their rights and obligations.
To date, the PAP has answered all the questions raised by opposition supporters (whether you believe it or not is a separate discussion), but the WP continues to remain silent. Transparency and accountability cuts both ways. The WP's continued silence can only mean that they have something to hide.