A key functional role of the opposition in Parliament is to scrutinise the government’s budget, said Worker’s Party (WP) MP Pritam Singh, adding that this includes making enquiries as well as raising clarifications and objections.
In a Facebook post this morning (6 March), Mr Singh addressed the Budget and Committee of Supply debate process. He noted that his party has proposed suggestions over the last two weeks covering everything from bread-and-butter issues like CPF usage, job concerns of elderly Singaporeans, and better healthcare for seniors to other matters such as accountability of the country’s reserves and climate change.
He also highlighted issues specific to this year’s debates such as the concerns of private hire bus drivers and additional support for them in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr Singh wrote about the role his party plays in scrutinising the budget, “That process is a central ingredient of our parliamentary democracy, regardless who is in Government and which party is in opposition.”
He went on to share a moment during a break in the debates shared by WP MPs and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.
“As we transited from the Budget debate to the Committee of Supply debates late last week, Finance Minister Heng came over to join the WP MPs during the break,” he said.
“The upside and downside of different political systems, the ongoing Democratic Presidential primaries and China’s initial response to the COVID-19 especially towards whistleblowers came up, and all of us spoke freely.”
Mr Singh added, “While we keep an eye on the changing world around us, the Singapore that we call home – and are proud to call home – is at the centre of the work my WP colleagues and I undertake, both in and out of Parliament.”
He concluded the post by noting his eagerness, and that of the other WP MPs, to “getting back on the ground”.