On the evening of 12 July, the Workers’ Party (WP) received a public rebuke from no less than the Prime Minister, who had nothing but harsh words calling the WP to account. (See: http://www.pmo.gov.sg/content/pmosite/mediacentre/pressreleases/2013/July/statement-from-the-prime-minister-s-office-on-aljunied-hougang-p.html)
In this post, I take issue with WP’s evasiveness on the matter and I refer to their 201-word press release dated 13 July 2013. (See: http://wp.sg/2013/07/our-mps-consciences-are-clear/)
I state for the record that I have listened closely to the proceedings of the Parliamentary Sitting on 9 July and I have accordingly transcribed the exchange between Mr. Low Thia Khiang and Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan. You can ascertain the accuracy and veracity of my transcription for yourself here.
In Parliament, Mr. Low said that he would pursue the matter and find out more. He added that he was unaware of what Mr. Tai said and/or did with regard to the hawker centre cleaning. Additionally, Mr. Low called the ATL quotation “a puzzle”. I reproduce his words here:
“I’ve not spoken to Mr. Tai, this is the first time I’ve read all these things but I gather that’s how it came about, you know, because of the ‘spring cleaning’….The next issue about the ATL quotation – it is a puzzle, and, umm, umm, I’m trying to find out who actually ask them to quote (sic). Obviously, people ask them to quote and then otherwise they won’t quote (sic). But there’s nothing to do with the Town Council. The Town Council has not asked them quote either.”
However, and to my shock, Mr. Low said on 10 July before commencing his Meet-the-People Session (MPS) that he would not be “going for any investigation”.
My question is this: Why the immediate turnabout?
On 9 July, Mr. Low said that he would investigate. On 10 July, he said he would not do so.
There was no acceptable answer given. Why is the WP denying the allegations despite the evidence and the exhortation by the Prime Minister to conduct an inquiry?
But the WP did not stop there. What is worse is that it grossly and shamelessly pushed the burden of judgment to the public. The statement released by the WP on 13 July said that it would let “the public make its own judgment on the matter.”
Not only has the WP refrained from clearing the air on the integrity, honour and reputation of its MPs, it has shirked all responsibility of holding itself accountable. This is grossly unacceptable. How dare you? Is this how you account to the people who believed and voted in you? It is repulsively arrogant of you to simply say, oh, let the public decide for themselves.
As of 14 July, it is clear to me that the WP has no interest in defending its reputation and is unwilling to clear the air in the interests of public accountability. As the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ms. Chang Li Lin has put it, “Mr Low’s latest non-statement addresses none of these serious charges, which therefore stand unrebutted.”
In all honesty, not only do I not understand why the WP would flip-flop in a span of two days, I do not comprehend why the WP would leave such harsh and serious allegations unanswered. It simply does not make any sense! The logical thing for any person to do would be to stand up and refute these charges with relentless vigour. In politics, credibility is paramount. Credibility is not a cheap commodity to be auctioned away to the public.
The WP said to let the public decide. Well, I’m deciding right now and it is clear to me that you need to come clean.