In his forum letter to state media chinese paper Lian He Zao Bao, PAP MP Sam Tan claimed that the number of speeches made in Parliament is not important and does not indicate the quality of the ruling party. MP Sam Tan was responding to Opposition MP Low Thia Kiang’s forum letter which highlighted that the average Workers’ Party MP made more speeches than the average PAP MP in Parliament.
Here is a translation of what Sam Tan said:
“Mr Low Thia Kiang reminded readers the Workers’ Party proposed a 130 page manifesto and the average WP MP gave more parliamentary speeches than the average PAP MP. He is trying to claim that the WP is a more responsible and better political party than the PAP, this however smacks of suspicion that Mr Low only knows how to promote himself by displaying the faults of others.
…How do voters grade the ruling party’s performance? I believe the number of suggestions and speeches made is insufficient to grade the PAP’s performance. The PAP MPs think about quality, sustainability and resonance. So if WP wants to be a responsible political party, they should instead promote sustainable alternative policies. Unfortunately, the WP did not do that.”
PAP MPs have been under-fired for not speaking up in Parliament and being yes-men to the Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong spoke only once in the 5 years between 2011 and 2015.
According to parliamentary attendance, the Workers’ Party Low Thia Kiang, Gerald Giam have full attendance of all 115 sessions. Their fellow MPs Sylvia Lim, Pritam Singh and Muhammad Faisal attended 114 sessions. The average attendance of WP MPs are near 100%. However the PAP side, the average attendance of a PAP MP is only about 89%.