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We reported here that Mr John Tan had written to the National University of Singapore Students’ Political Association (NUSPA) asking why the Singapore Democrats have not been invited to speak at the student organisation’s forum when other opposition parties were.
Ms Jasmine Toh, President of NUSPA, replied that the speakers were invited in their personal capacities. In response, Mr Tan said that he hoped NUSPA is not prevented from inviting the SDP to speak at its forums and asks NUSPA to organise an event for the opposition to speak to its students.
24 October 2010
Dear Mr Tan,
We thank you for your keen interest in our forum-based event, entitled “Economic Growth: At What Cost?” Indeed, while our guest speakers are members of various political parties, they and our moderator were invited to share their views and opinions in their personal capacity, and not as representatives of their political parties/organisation. Our intention was to create an avenue for discussion of issues relevant to the theme, rather than a platform for inter-party debate.
Nonetheless, we understand your disappointment that none of your party members received an invitation. We do however extend our warmest welcome to current NUS students and staff who are members of SDP to attend the forum. They may attend in their capacity as currently matriculated students/staff of NUS. We sincerely look forward to having them with us.
Jasmine Toh (Ms.)
36th Management Committee
NUS Students’ Political Association
24 October 2010
Ms Jasmine Toh
Dear Ms Toh,
While you say that the forum speakers are invited in their personal capacities, you have their political parties clearly displayed in your poster. There is nothing on your advertisement that says that the speakers have not been invited as representatives of their respective parties.
In fact anyone reading your poster would conclude that the forum is a debate/discussion on economic growth in Singapore from the standpoint of the various political parties represented on the panel.
We have been told by various sources close to NUS officialdom that the Singapore Democrats should not be invited to speak at its events. We can only suspect that the establishment wishes to portray selected political viewpoints that exclude the SDP’s. We hope that this is not NUSPA’s position.
I believe it is still not too late, in the interest of a fuller and more complete discussion, to invite one of our representatives, in whatever capacity you wish, to speak at the forum.
May I also take this opportunity to reiterate my party’s intent to reach out to your fellow NUS students and would be grateful if you could organise an event where our members can discuss politics and political issues with the student body. In the past we have repeatedly asked NUSPA to facilitate such events but have to date met with a blank wall.
Singapore Democratic Party