GE 2015: On the campaign trail

WP aiming to form future government: Shanmugam

Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam (at left) says that based on the WP chairman's and Hougang MP's speeches, they have their eye on forming the government in the future.
Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam (at left) says that based on the WP chairman's and Hougang MP's speeches, they have their eye on forming the government in the future.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

It is clear that the Workers' Party (WP) has its eye on forming the government in the future, two Cabinet ministers from the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) said yesterday.

"If you look at what Ms Sylvia Lim has said, what Mr Png Eng Huat has said, they're talking about forming the government," said Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, referring to the WP chairman and the MP for Hougang, respectively.

"So it's really a choice between the Government as it is and an alternate government. If you look at the speeches, they're quite clear that they want to form the government, in not too distant a future."

Ms Lim had, at a rally last week, said if WP forms the government, it will get rid of GRCs and the Nominated MP scheme, among other moves.

Mr Shanmugam was also asked his view of comments by Mr Gurmit Singh, a WP candidate in Nee Soon GRC, who told a rally last Friday that a foreign minister "can be dispensable" - a reference to how the WP unseated then Foreign Minister George Yeo in Aljunied GRC in 2011.

Mr Shanmugam, who leads the PAP team in Nee Soon GRC, said: "I suspect if you ask Mr Gurmit Singh, he will tell you that all the ministers in the different GRCs... are all dispensable. And I think that's a matter for Singaporeans to judge."

Similarly, Defence Minister and PAP organising secretary Ng Eng Hen rebutted the WP's comments that giving the PAP Government a strong mandate at the ballot box would give it a licence to be a bully.

"Why in the world would we be a bully when we've worked so hard to win voters' confidence?" he asked.

Referring to WP chief Low Thia Khiang's comment last week that a minimum of 20 opposition MPs was needed to check the PAP Government, Dr Ng said: "The WP says they want 'X' number of seats and when they reach there, they're going to stop? These are cat-and- mouse games during... the general election. Everyone sees through it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'WP aiming to form future government: Shanmugam'. Print Edition | Subscribe