On the campaign trail

Cruise ship? PAP is like the Titanic, says WP's Low

Mr Low Thia Khiang (clapping), secretary-general of the Workers' Party, with Marine Parade GRC candidates (from left) Firuz Khan, Yee Jenn Jong, Terrence Tan, He Ting Ru and Dylan Ng chatting with some diners at the Geylang Serai market yesterday. Th
Mr Low Thia Khiang (clapping), secretary-general of the Workers' Party, with Marine Parade GRC candidates (from left) Firuz Khan, Yee Jenn Jong, Terrence Tan, He Ting Ru and Dylan Ng chatting with some diners at the Geylang Serai market yesterday. The WP chief spoke about ESM Goh Chok Tong's comment likening the choice of a party to a cruise ship to travel on. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
Mr Low Thia Khiang (clapping), secretary-general of the Workers' Party, with Marine Parade GRC candidates (from left) Firuz Khan, Yee Jenn Jong, Terrence Tan, He Ting Ru and Dylan Ng chatting with some diners at the Geylang Serai market yesterday. Th
Workers' Party East Coast GRC candidates Gerald Giam (second from right) and Leon Perera (right) meeting diners at Block 216 Bedok North Street 1 Market and Food Centre yesterday.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

He picks up on ESM Goh's analogy, saying ruling party has 'no provisions for failure'

Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang has likened the People's Action Party (PAP) to the Titanic, the cruise ship that sank and killed many due to a lack of safeguards against failures.

Mr Low picked up on the analogy that Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had used on Sunday at a walkabout in Aljunied GRC.

Mr Goh had likened the choice of a party to picking a cruise ship to travel on. He said while going with the PAP was like taking a cruise ship with a destination, other choices were akin to a ship to nowhere, like a gambling ship. Mr Goh, however, did not name any political party.

Mr Low, in reply to reporters yesterday, said: "I'm afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit. It used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer claimed that it's not sinkable. The name is Titanic." He was referring to the passenger vessel that sank on its maiden voyage, in which more than 1,500 people died.

"There are not enough lifeboats, no preparations or provisions for failure," Mr Low added.

LACK OF SAFEGUARDS

I'm afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit. It used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer claimed that it's not sinkable. The name is Titanic... There are not enough lifeboats, no preparations or provisions for failure.

MR LOW THIA KHIANG, Workers' Party chief, responding to ESM Goh Chok Tong's comment that going with the PAP was like taking a cruise ship with a destination, whereas the other choices were akin to a ship to nowhere, like a gambling ship

The WP has been calling for voters to back the opposition as a credible alternative in the event of a decline of the PAP.

Mr Low was at the Geylang Serai market in Marine Parade GRC. With him were the five WP candidates for the GRC, including corporate lawyer He Ting Ru, 32, who repeated the party's manifesto proposal to increase the labour force participation rate by attracting more women back to work.

At another walkabout in Bedok, WP East Coast GRC candidate Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36, brought up plans for a mandatory flexi-work arrangement for workers in companies with more than 20 employees. He said such a scheme would help Singaporeans "enjoy better work-life harmony". "Ultimately, a happy worker would be a more productive worker."

Mr Gerald Giam, 37, also part of the WP's four-member East Coast team, said the opposition party has taken efforts to explain its manifesto, so as to attract more than just protest votes. He said: "We are hoping to be that credible alternative, that we can provide them with a choice, not just (cast) a protest vote. We want to provide them with a choice that they are voting for a party that can speak up for them in Parliament."

ESM Goh responded to Mr Low's analogy in a Facebook post last night. He said: "Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. The PAP cruised over 50 years under three captains. All onboard are safe."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline 'Cruise ship? PAP is like the Titanic, says WP's Low'. Print Edition | Subscribe