The long and drawn out saga with regards to the alleged breach of fiduciary duties by certain Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) over certain payment irregularities in the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (Aljunied) and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (Pasir Ris) is finally having its day in court. To be honest, the debacle has been dragged on for so long that I have forgotten the exact details of the case. While it may well be coincidence, I find the periodic reminder to the public of WP’s alleged breach of duties rather curious. Is it calculated?
Just a few days before the beginning of the court case, Minister Chan Chun Sing had made certain remarks about the WP’s sincerity. He had suggested that WP’s willingness to take up Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) positions despite being opposed to it was disingenuous. Is this dig at the WP meant to further remind the public of the WP’s “shortcomings? Given that the WP court case has involved sessions in Parliament, I find it had to believe that Chan would not be aware of when the court dates are. The timing of his remarks is therefore interesting to say the least.
The rumour mill is churning that there will be general elections towards the end of next year. With this in mind, can these series of events be a mounting deluge of events that will discredit the WP ahead of the elections? Keeping the event constantly covered by the press, MPs and ministers making snide remarks about the WP’s credibility and now the court case gives some credence to the argument that these events are timed to remind the public of how the opposition parties have “failed” the voters.
Politicians taking pot shots at each other is to be expected. What is more nuanced is the situation when mainstream media outlets have the reputation of being beholden to the incumbent government leading to alleged failures on the part of opposition parties being covered much more than failings on the part of the ruling party. When assessing the situation and the WP MPs, it would be prudent to keep this in mind.
Is there a plan of constant discrediting in place? If so, we can expect these to mount as we draw ever closer to the general election. I am not suggesting that the public vote opposition parties for the sake of it. All I am saying is that we need to be mindful of our rather unique political climate. We always have to ask ourselves if the timing of events are perhaps too convenient.