PSP's stand on Ceca does have racial undertones

I am shocked that Mr Viswa Sadasivan (Thrust of parliamentary debates can send message to young, Sept 18) thinks Mr Leong Mun Wai and the Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) year-long campaign against the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca) does not have a racial agenda.

Did he hear what Finance Minister Lawrence Wong quoted in Parliament from an e-mail written by an Indian Singaporean?

The man was concerned that potential employers would think he was a foreigner from India and thus pass over his job applications.

The PSP campaign, the man went on to say, "is hurting Singapore Indians".

Did Mr Viswa hear Mr Leong concede in Parliament that "there will be some people who would think that there is a racial undertone" to his and PSP's past statements on Ceca?

Only a few weeks earlier, many people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, had expressed alarm at the growing number of racist incidents directed against Indians.

Why, then, does Mr Viswa dismiss out of hand the Government challenging Mr Leong and PSP to take a more responsible tone on such sensitive matters?

Why does he not instead praise the responsible and principled positions that Mr Wong, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann and the Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh took?

Panneerselvam Arumugam Periasamy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2021, with the headline 'PSP's stand on Ceca does have racial undertones'. Subscribe