MPs' united front abroad for the good of Singapore: Pritam Singh

People's Action Party MP Rahayu Mahzam and her Workers' Party counterpart Pritam Singh (third from left) are part of the Singapore delegation at the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa) in Bangkok this week. They are among 12 MPs who are attendi
People's Action Party MP Rahayu Mahzam and her Workers' Party counterpart Pritam Singh (third from left) are part of the Singapore delegation at the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa) in Bangkok this week. They are among 12 MPs who are attending the 40th General Assembly of Aipa, along with Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.PHOTO: TAN CHUAN-JIN/FACEBOOK

When representing Singapore abroad, Workers' Party (WP) MPs maintain a "broadly united front" with their counterparts in the People's Action Party (PAP), as that is in line with the opposition party's desire to seek a better future for the country, said its leader Pritam Singh yesterday.

Mr Singh, who is part of the Singapore delegation at the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa) in Bangkok this week, said he was occasionally asked how it was possible for opposition MPs to work with PAP MPs in a bipartisan manner at such events overseas, when at home, they sit on different sides of the House.

In a Facebook post, he said opposition MPs want Singapore to succeed, even if they may disagree with the Government's approach, philosophies or policies.

"Our parliamentary democracy gives us the platform to have different views represented in Parliament and to debate and criticise ideas and policies. But once we leave our shores, a broadly united front amongst all MPs is consistent with the better future we in the WP seek for Singapore," he added.

The WP chief is among 12 MPs who are at the 40th General Assembly of Aipa, along with Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.

Others in the delegation include PAP MPs Lim Biow Chuan, Gan Thiam Poh and Joan Pereira, as well as Nominated MP Lim Sun Sun.

Mr Tan, in a Facebook post yesterday, said he was grateful to his fellow MPs for representing Singapore at the six-day meeting, which ends tomorrow, adding that it had been a "busy few days".

 
 

"Sessions like these are important because it gives Asean a platform to engage the world. It also allows us to meet with each other at bilateral sessions, and to further strengthen our ties," he said.

Apart from a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, the MPs also had bilateral dialogues with Singapore's Asean neighbours as well as countries such as Norway and Russia.

While in Bangkok, Mr Tan also called on the President of the National Assembly of Thailand and Speaker of the House of Representatives Chuan Leekpai, as well as President of the Senate Pornpetch Wichitcholchai.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2019, with the headline 'MPs' united front abroad for the good of S'pore: Pritam'. Print Edition | Subscribe