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It is indeed refreshing to hear Mr George Yeo, a PAP stalwart, call for ruling and opposition politicians to work together for Singapore’s interests. The SDP welcomes the former minister’s remarks.
Mr George Yeo said that all politicians should “link the hearts together (and) broaden our minds” for the country’s interests.
Indeed, Dr Ang Yong Guan, which Mr Yeo cited, is a fine example of how we can disagree on policy while agreeing that we are, first and foremost, Singaporeans and that no matter which party we belong to and what policy we advocate, we all love this country and want her to do better.
Mr Yeo must, however, not mistaken policy difference for division. Political parties adopt different platforms and articulate different visions for our country. Contesting parties must respect, even though we disagree – sometimes passionately – with each other’s viewpoints.
This is a normal process that democratic societies go through. It is good and healthy for Singapore.
Ultimately, however, all must recognise that it is the people who must be allowed to decide which party they want to lead this country.
We must move beyond the politics of detention without trial, defamation suits and the criminalisation of legitimate political activity.
The SDP is confident that Mr Yeo understands this and we look forward to him fulfilling his promise to reform his party and help to bring its policies and practices in line with democratic norms where the political freedoms and civil liberties of Singaporeans are respected.
To this end, we extend our hand of democratic collegiality and stand ready to work with him to bring about a more mature level of politics in this country, something which our long-suffering people expect and deserve.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
The above is the Singapore Democratic Party’s statement in response to a media enquiry from Yahoo!News about the Party’s response to Mr George Yeo’s comments. The former foreign affairs minister said that since last year’s GE, Singapore has been divided. He asked all politicians, opposition and ruling, to “link the hearts together (and) broaden our minds” for the country’s interests. He gave the example of Dr Ang Yong Guan, who was a Citizens’ Consultative Committee secretary but stood as a an SDP candidate. Mr Yeo said that despite this, “we can still work together”.