When it was reported that the Workers’ Party’s Members of Parliament will not be attending this year’s Prime Minister’s National Day Rally speech, some accused the WP of slighting the Government.
This was even though the WP had explained that the reason for this was because the rally, which will take place on 23 August, clashes with a grassroots SG50 event which the party had already planned in December last year.
It would be the first time that all nine WP MPs will give the event a miss.
A WP spokesperson told the media that invitations to the rally are sent to individual MPs, not to the party, and said the MPs had “informed the organising committee accordingly”.
“By the time we received the NDR invitation, we had already planned our National Day event,” said Mr Yee Jenn Jong, WP NCMP, who received the invitation in June.
“I think I need to commit my time to the residents who have supported us,” he added.
On Sunday during its walkabout in Nee Soon GRC, WP chairman Sylvia Lim was asked about it again.
“I don’t think there’s an issue really,” she said, referring to pro-PAP supporters who have attacked the party over it.
“Not sure why people are trying to create an issue out of it,” she continued. “We planned our dinner as SG50 National Day, last year in fact, the date was already chosen and we think it’s meaningful for us, especially as an opposition party to rally our supporters to remind everyone that what we want is to actually have betterment for Singapore as a whole.”
She then said that there is a distinction to be made between what are national interests and ruling party interests.
“You know, I think some of these people get confused, they can’t distinguish between national interests and ruling party interests,” Ms Lim said. “We want to underscore the point that even if you are an opposition supporter, you can be as loyal to Singapore as any PAP supporter. We think that it is important to set the record straight. “