In a Facebook post, WP Chief, Pritam Singh, reflected on his participation in the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly held in Bangkok.
The Singapore parliamentary delegation included members of both opposition and ruling parties. It was led by Speaker of Parliament, Tan Chuan-Jin, from the PAP.
Singh shared that one of the more popular questions asked of the delegation is how it was possible for the opposition MPs to "operate in a bipartisan manner with the PAP MPs overseas, even as we sit on opposite sides of the house at home."
His response was that:
Everyone, including the opposition, wants Singapore to succeed and envisions a better future for our people. Disagreements, different approaches/philosophies is a reality of the human condition. It is no different in Singapore.
Our parliamentary democracy give 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 parliamentary MPs is consistent with the better future we in the WP seek for Singapore.
Indeed, all Singaporeans want to see a Singapore that is safe, and progressing. Regardless of the party you are from or the party you supported or voted for, you want a Singapore that is prosperous.
It is to everyone's benefit.
However, is it always necessary to present a united front when representing Singapore overseas?
There are different perspectives and views on civil and individual liberties in Singapore under the PAP. Does WP then defend the PAP when they are overseas?
The idea is that opposing or contrarian views and rigorous debates can help to improve Singapore. This is the reason why people join opposition parties in the first place.
This difference shouldn't be diluted because of the location or occassion.
What are your views? Do you think local and opposition parties should present a united front overseas?