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NSP writes to PM and President calling for national referendum on White Paper

Published on Feb 9, 2013 4:36 PM
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The opposition National Solidarity Party on Saturday called on the Government to hold a national referendum on the White Paper on Population, a day after it was endorsed in Parliament. -- ST PHOTO:  KUA CHEE SIONG

THE opposition National Solidarity Party (NSP) on Saturday called on the Government to hold a national referendum on the White Paper on Population, a day after it was endorsed in Parliament.

In a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the NSP later released to the media, its secretary-general Hazel Poa said it was clear to many that the vote by Parliament did not reflect the views of Singaporeans.

This was because the PAP MPs "clearly voted along Party lines", she added.

A total of 77 MPs endorsed an amended motion to the White Paper and Land Use Plan. Thirteen, including 10 opposition MPs, voted against it. One NMP, Eugene Tan, abstained. Eight MPs were absent during the vote.

Ms Poa wrote in her letter: "The Population White Paper will affect Singaporeans - for better or worse - for the next 20 years and beyond. All Singaporeans have the right to decide how the future is shaped.

"We hope that the Prime Minister recognises the mandate to lead the Government and people of Singapore also encompasses the willingness to listen to the people, whose lives will be irrevocably changed by the decision that their elected leaders make on their behalf."

Ms Poa also wrote a separate letter to President Tony Tan, expressing hope that he would ask the Government to hold a national referendum.

chinlian@sph.com.sg

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