Singapore GE2020: SDP has no qualms about making false claims, says Lawrence Wong

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who is leading the People's Action Party team in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, telling residents about a new bridge that will be built in Limbang in a video uploaded on Facebook yesterday.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who is leading the People's Action Party team in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, telling residents about a new bridge that will be built in Limbang in a video uploaded on Facebook yesterday.PHOTO: LAWRENCE WONG/FACEBOOK

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has no qualms about making false allegations in campaign statements for its own political purposes, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

In an online rally yesterday evening, he said the SDP has put out proposals that sound attractive, but without telling voters the cost and price tag attached to them.

In the end, future generations will have to pay the price, he said.

"Now, we always welcome different views and perspectives, to enrich our debates, and to help formulate better policies for the benefit of all Singaporeans," he said.

"But our debates must always be grounded in facts, not falsehoods or distorted half truths."

Mr Wong is leading the four-member People's Action Party team that is contesting in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC against an SDP team that includes former civil servant Benjamin Pwee.

Mr Wong's comments are the latest in a series of criticism from the PAP against SDP. The exchange of words started after SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said during a televised debate that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had "toyed with" the idea of nearly doubling Singapore's population to 10 million, from the current 5.7 million.

The allegation was refuted by PAP. It said this was established to be a falsehood, and questioned the integrity of SDP. In spite of this, SDP claimed victory in pressurising PAP to declare that it does not have a population target of 10 million.

Yesterday, Mr Wong said that opposition parties, particularly the SDP, have "bombarded" voters with negative messages throughout the election campaign.

"The SDP has been taking potshots at us online," he added.

"Their attacks are intended to arouse anger and unhappiness."

 
 
 

He also criticised SDP for claiming undue credit for some upgrading projects, without elaborating on the projects in question.

Mr Wong said: "Do (these projects) appear just because of opposition candidates who show up only during an election campaign?

"Let's be real... Behind the scenes, we have been working hard with relevant government agencies (and) pushing for these projects."

In response, Mr Pwee said SDP's work in flagging the lack of lift access at Block 115 and 119 in Marsiling Rise prompted the Government to take action with a grant in March. SDP had in January started a petition that got about 500 signatures.

On Mr Wong's criticism about SDP making false accusations and spreading negativity, party chairman Paul Tambyah said: "Unfortunately, Minister Wong, like many of the other ministers, has been reluctant to engage us on (manifesto) issues but has resorted to personal attacks and mischaracterisation of our campaign."

He added: "We need to highlight issues which affect the quality of life of our residents no matter how negative these may appear."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2020, with the headline 'SDP has no qualms about making false claims: Wong'. Subscribe