SINGAPORE — Progress Singapore Party (PSP) NCMPs Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa “endured relentless attacks and even disrespectful insults from PAP (People's Action Party) MPs” during a parliamentary debate on the motion filed by them, said PSP Chairman Tan Cheng Bock on Wednesday (15 September).
Praising Leong and Poa, Dr Tan said in a post on his Facebook page that he was proud of the NCMPs’ display of “great courage and tenacity” in Parliament on Tuesday.
Parliament sat for over 13.5 hours with the session mostly focused on the motion by Leong and Poa on foreign talent policy, and a separate motion tabled by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on securing Singaporeans’ jobs and livelihood. The debate became heated at times with several ministers attacking Leong for his views on free trade agreements, in particular the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
Government policies were carefully examined and scrutinised during the session and the public now knows about the issue at hand more than it ever did before, said Dr Tan.
“The issue at stake is not race and racism, but Singaporean jobs, Singaporean lives and Singaporean livelihoods,” the former MP for Ayer Rajah added.
While some have criticised the NCMPs' performance, Dr Tan noted that it is their first term in Parliament. They have learnt much from the session, and it will one of many occasions where they will need to stand firm “in the face of overwhelming odds”.
Dr Tab said, “They are holding the Government accountable to provide answers to Singaporeans - let’s not forget that...Thank you Mun Wai and Hazel for standing up for Singaporeans and bringing their voice to Parliament.”
His comments come shortly after Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan apologised to Leong his "private comments to a colleague" during the session.
A clip purportedly showing comments made during the session about an individual who was "illiterate" and went to a "lousy school", and "How did he get into RI (Raffles Institution)?" went viral on Wednesday.
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