PSP not ‘missing in action’, will address repeal of Section 377A in Parliament: Francis Yuen

PM Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday that opposition parties were “missing in action” when it comes to thorny issues such as the repeal of Section 377A. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is not “missing in action” and its two non-constituency MPs Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa will be addressing the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code when it is debated in Parliament at the end of the month, said the party’s secretary-general Francis Yuen on Monday.

He was responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who on Sunday said Singapore’s opposition parties were “missing in action” when it comes to thorny issues, such as the impending repeal of Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men.

PM Lee had announced at the National Day Rally in August that the Government would move to repeal the law, which has stood since colonial times.

He said at the biennial People’s Action Party Conference on Sunday that the opposition cannot just “lie low and disappear”, particularly if it aims to win more seats in Parliament and eventually form Government.

In response, Mr Yuen said in a Facebook post that there are pressing issues like rising cost of living, inflation and the threat of global recession affecting jobs and livelihoods that need to be addressed.

“It is disingenuous for the ruling party to make such sweeping remarks of the alternative parties, especially at a crucial time such as what we are experiencing today. We should all be focused instead on how to surmount these challenges in the immediate future as individuals and as a nation.”

Mr Yuen added that the ruling party should refrain from making snide remarks about its political opponents.

He said: “They should be reminded of their promise to be a more open and transparent government, to be willing to dialogue with Singaporeans. This should not exclude alternative parties’ views.”

PSP as well as the Workers’ Party – the largest opposition party in Parliament – have not stated their positions on the impending repeal, which is set to see debate when Parliament sits on Nov 28 and Nov 29.

Mr Yuen also said no single political party has a monopoly of talent or has all the answers, and that it is more productive and in the public’s interests to encourage free contestation of ideas than to make unhelpful and cynical remarks about alternative political parties.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.