Forum: Context of words used on power transfer entirely different

I refer to Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh's speech in Parliament on Tuesday rejecting the conclusions by the Committee of Privileges that he had guided Ms Raeesah Khan to lie in Parliament, in which he cited an observation I had made.

Yes, in referring to the transfer of power from the first generation of lawmakers to the second-generation ones, I did mention that there was "strain, tension and resentment".

However, the context was entirely different. My second-generation colleagues and I were replacing honourable men and women of utmost integrity and incredible courage who had fought the communists, communalists and socialists. Their sacrifices laid the foundation for the stable and prosperous Singapore we enjoy today.

In Whampoa, I replaced Mr Buang Omar Junid, who was parliamentary secretary to the deputy prime minister and a man of great courage who stood for a multiracial Singapore despite tremendous communal pressure and the lure of Malaysian Malay dominance. Understandably, he and his supporters were dismayed.

In retirement, he remained unswerving in his support of the People's Action Party government. I salute his memory, and I also thank the voters of Whampoa, especially the Malays, for their support through six elections.

Augustine H.H. Tan

Former MP for Whampoa

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