GE2015: Get 'insurance' before faith in ruling party is lost, says Workers' Party's Gerald Giam

Workers' Party candidate Gerald Giam (centre) speaking with reporters during a walkabout at the Market and Food Centre at Block 58 New Upper Changi Road on Wednesday, Sept 9, 2015.
Workers' Party candidate Gerald Giam (centre) speaking with reporters during a walkabout at the Market and Food Centre at Block 58 New Upper Changi Road on Wednesday, Sept 9, 2015.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Just like how insurance policies are bought before an incident, Singaporeans should vote in a credible opposition party before faith in the ruling party is completely lost, Mr Gerald Giam of the opposition Workers' Party said on Wednesday (Sept 9).

"Insurance is something that everybody understands is important. But you don't buy insurance policies when you meet with an accident. You buy insurance policies before you get sick, before you meet with an accident," he told reporters during a walkabout at a market in New Upper Changi Road.

"So we want to inform the voters that it's important to build up a credible, responsible, opposition party while we have the time, and not when the ruling party has lost the support of the people."

Mr Giam, team leader of the WP's four-member slate for the East Coast GRC, was responding to remarks by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a People's Action Party's (PAP) lunchtime rally in the city on Tuesday.

Mr Lee, the PAP's secretary-general, dismissed an argument put forth by the WP's chairman Sylvia Lim that a strong opposition provides insurance against the ruling party's failure. He said, in a reference to the WP's management of town council finances: "Insurance is good but you must buy the right insurance from the right company."

During Wednesday's walkabout, Mr Giam also reiterated the party's call for more opposition MPs to be voted into Parliament. He added that this being the last day of campaigning, he is thankful for the tremendous support from the residents of East Coast GRC.

He said: "I hope that this (the support) will be something that would be reflected in the polls in a few days' time, and we hope that residents will also be able to share with their families and friends the message we have for them, which is the importance of entrenching a credible opposition presence in Parliament, and entrenching MPs who can hold the Government to account and give them bargaining power over the Government."

He said he expects the PAP to return as the Government this General Election as he urged it to govern in the interests of Singaporeans and the country even if the results are unfavourable to the ruling party.

He said: "If we are elected into Parliament, we will suggest improvements that can be made, and the ball will be in their court whether they want to take up those suggestions. And if they make the improvements, I'm sure the people will appreciate it.

"We (the WP) will appreciate it, as we are here to bring Singapore forward. We are not here just to score political points and say that we are right, you were wrong. We want to see the progress of Singapore as well."

audreyt@sph.com.sg