Forum: Politically neutral labour chief in workers' best interests

Mr Foo Sing Kheng's arguments (Labour chief post should be held by Cabinet minister, July 17) rest on the assumption that unless one holds a Cabinet position, one is unable to have the political clout to advance the interests of workers.

If we were to extend this line of reasoning to its fullest, we are then confronted with two broader issues.

First, it means that voters of opposition-held constituencies, who voted in non-Cabinet MPs, and members of other special interest groups will forever remain politically disadvantaged. But surely this cannot be the case because we have elected MPs and Nominated MPs in Parliament to ensure a fair airing of diverse opinions. And the Cabinet must be attuned to sentiment on the ground, regardless of where it comes from.

Second, Mr Foo's argument carries the supposition that the interests of workers must be pursued in line with that of a party's interests. Though I have faith that the People's Action Party does not practise such politics, our parliamentarians should remember that national interest should always take precedence over that of any political entities.

I would argue that it is in the best interests of workers to have a politically neutral labour chief.

This conveys the clear signal that the tripartite alliance need not be politically connected.

Faisal Maricar

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