Details of resources given to Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh to be announced this week

WP chief Pritam Singh has been designated Leader of the Opposition after the party won 10 seats in the recent election. PHOTO: ST FILE

An announcement will be made this week on the resources given to the Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this yesterday in response to a question about the official title, which he had designated on the Workers' Party (WP) chief after the opposition party won 10 seats in three constituencies in the July 10 General Election.

"The main thing is we're recognising the leader of the main opposition party in Parliament," PM Lee said at a virtual press conference to announce his new Cabinet.

"We hope that this will lead to the opposition in Parliament playing a more constructive and more substantive role, not just asking questions of the Government, but also putting up alternatives, putting up proposals and being scrutinised."

He added that this would allow Singaporeans to understand what the trade-offs, issues and choices are, and "we can have a better quality of debate, a better public comprehension of the national priorities and issues and we hope a better government for Singapore".

PM Lee had announced in a press conference after the general election that Mr Singh will be designated as the Leader of the Opposition, and that he will be provided with the appropriate staff and resources.

Former prime minister Goh Chok Tong, who retired from politics ahead of the election, called it a "very significant move" that acknowledges voters' desire for more opposition MPs in Parliament.

Singapore's parliamentary system is modelled after the Westminster system in Britain.

There, the Leader of the Opposition draws a salary on top of the MP allowance, and picks a shadow Cabinet to follow the work of government departments.

At the recent polls, the WP won four seats in the new Sengkang group representation constituency and retained the five-member Aljunied GRC and single seat Hougang.

In response to PM Lee's announcement, Mr Singh had said: "I look forward to serving as the Leader of the Opposition and will carry out my duties to the best of my abilities. I will endeavour to ensure that the Workers' Party under my leadership will remain loyal to Singapore and all Singaporeans."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2020, with the headline Details of resources given to Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh to be announced this week. Subscribe