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Dr Vincent Wijeysingha vindicated his colleagues’ trust in him to carry the party’s flag in the Channel NewsAsia’s political debate televised last night. The Assistant Treasurer of the SDP showed that he was more than capable of holding his own against not one but two PAP speakers.
His performance at last night’s TV debate will remind voters the kind of MPs Dr Wijeysingha and his colleagues will make in the next parliament.
Dr Wijeysingha took the fight to the PAP speakers, one of whom was Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and judging from viewers’ comments, came away the winner.
Perhaps, it was apt that the two met as Mr Tharman had presented the Government’s Budget whereas Dr Wijeysingha led the charge for the SDP’s Shadow Budget 2011.
Dr Wijeysingha presented the Democrats’ case not with just his head, but with his heart as well. One can easily memorise all the facts and figures to be delivered in a verbal match, but if these do not come with the heart, the performance will be cold and it will win few over.
It was clear that Dr Wijeysingha shone not because be was there just to score points and win votes. He showed, as with all of our candidates and members, that the SDP is a party based on our values first and foremost, our values of speaking up for the poor, the ones without a voice, the ones without rights.
This may not be the most popular thing to do in Singapore, but it is the right thing to do.
And because those who come into our ranks know the party’s guiding philosophy and our core, foundational beliefs, we are bound together both in spirit and purpose. When ill-winds blow, we will not be tossed about.
The Singapore Democrats will field a slate of candidates that will represent the very soul of the party and what we stand for and what we want to achieve for this country. It will be a team worthy of the people’s support.
Of course, we are happy about the positive feedback of Dr Wijeysingha’s performance on TV last night (in our minds we were always confident he would make us proud as he displayed the passion and intelligence that personifies the SDP).
But this is only part of the sincerity and the commitment of our candidates to serve our fellow citizens and to take this nation to another level, another place where we can all truly know what it feels like to be Singaporean.