Strong opposition good for party and country: Tharman

SINGAPORE - With the general election expected to be held soon, one of Singapore's ministers and a senior member of the leading party said on Saturday that a strong opposition is good for the country.

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also the People's Action Party's (PAP) treasurer, said that strong opposition is good for both PAP and Singapore during a multi-party forum televised on Channel News Asia.

During the 45-minute session, Mr Tharman and his PAP colleague, Mrs Josephine Teo, exchanged views with members from four opposition parties. Mrs Teo is currently a Member of Parliament of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

Topics discussed included government policy on HDB prices, the goods and services tax, healthcare cost and rising costs, and the influx of foreign workers.

Mrs Lina Chiam, wife of Singapore People's Party leader and Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong, Mr Nazem Suki of the Singapore Democratic Alliance, Dr Vincent Wijeysingha of the Singapore Democratic Party and Mr Gerald Giam of the Workers' Party were the opposition members who took part in the forum.