The PMD issue, suffice to say, has divided Singaporeans. Opposition politicians and parties have not been spared by this. Yet, this should not be taken as a sign of a divided opposition.
On his FB page, leader of the Workers' Party (WP), Pritam Singh responded to a CNA article that reported on a meeting between PAP MP Lam Pin Min (LPM) and PMD riders. While Lam criticised Goh Meng Seng for his "irresponsible and abhorrent" actions.
Without directly criticising the purported actions of Goh, Singh reiterated the WP's stance on the role of opposition parties, while seemingly lamenting the onerous task of attaining and maintaining opposition unity.
Singh elaborated that the opposition is an important part of parliamentary democracy, playing a critical role as a check-and-balance on the government of the day. The WP thus does not set out to destroy political opposition.
On the PMD issue, Singh shared how one of their residents had eventually passed away after being involved in a collission with an illegally-modified PMD. Some others, have suffered injuries from similar accidents. Yet, WP continues to recognise the utility of the PMD, especially for those from the lower-income group. Singh reiterated his belief that the PMD will make a return in the future if infrasructure and regulations are enhanced adequately.
In what appears to be a thinly-veiled swipe at Goh, the Singapore People's Party (SPP) echoed the sentiments of the WP in a press statement signed-off by its Secretary-General, former NMP, Steve Chia.
SPP also underlined the importance of Singapore opposition parties being the voice of the people, and acting as checks-and-balances against the government. To that end, the SPP believes that it is "vital for the opposition to be loyal to Singapore and fellow Singaporeans" and adopt in an honest, constructive, and harmonious approach to politics.
Are these statements signs of a divided opposition?
To the extent that different political parties have different world views, objectives, imperatives, and approaches - yes. No two parties are the same. Such differences can only benefit Singapore
However, if this means that the opposition are not focused on ending the PAP's hegemony, the simple answer is 'no'. Now, more than ever, the opposition understands that the PAP is fragile and its confidence has diminished. The ground is ripe for the opposition to create history in the next GE.
The fact that different opposition parties have criticised the government's handling of t]he PMD issue speaks volumes about opposition unity.
Singaporeans who want a change should not be alarmed by this. On the contrary, Singaporeans should celebrate that there is diversity in opposition.