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PM: Why I said sorry

PM Lee explains why he apologised on Tuesday for the mistakes the govt has made and talks about the reaction to the apology. -RazorTV

Thu, May 05, 2011

By Shawn Lee Miller

A day after PM Lee Hsien Loong apologised for the mistakes that the government had made during a lunchtime rally in the financial district, he explained why.

Speaking to the media after a walkabout in Ang Mo Kio on Wednesday, he said: "We considered carefully and I thought this was a suitable message to Singaporeans at this stage of the campaign, to focus minds on the key issues.

"One set of key issues is the policies, housing, healthcare and so on. The other set is the politics of it and the emotional connection, which is very important, between the government and the people. So I thought the lunchtime rally at Boat Quay is a good occasion to address these points.

"I think the audience received it well and I hope Singaporeans too."

At the rally at Boat Quay on Tuesday, PM Lee said: "No government is perfect... from time to time, mistakes will happen. We made a mistake when we let Mas Selamat run away... when Orchard Road got flooded."


Watch the video here:

 Also see:
» PM Lee: GST will not go up to 10%
» Q&A with PM Lee in Ang Mo Kio

Opposition reacts to PM Lee's apology

The opposition reacted to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's apology at various rallies all over the country on Wednesday and Thursday.

While some were appreciative of the apology, others questioned PM Lee's timing.

At a Singapore People's Party rally at Potong Pasir on Wednesday night, Mr Benjamin Pwee thanked PM for saying sorry for the mistakes made by his government.

However, Mr Pwee claimed the decision to apologise was not the People's Action Party's.

"For the PAP to come to a point to say sorry to the nation is not a decision they made themselves. It's a decision all of us here have won for the nation."

The Straits Times reported that Workers' Party candidate Mr Gerald Giam questioned the timing of the apology.

"Do you want leaders who have the humility to apologise and take total responsibility immediately when they make mistakes, and not wait until four days before Polling Day?" he asked.

Candidates from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) took issue with PM Lee's apology at their lunchtime rally held at Boat Quay on Thursday.

Dr Gomez said Mr Lee's apology is an electoral tactic to win over voters.

"They have no confidence, they are using the last salvo of apologies and sympathy appeal. Lee Hsien Loong, our candidate in Ang Mo Kio GRC, you have reduced our election to sympathy gathering.

"That is not how you fight an election... Remember, we are fighting the election on policy alternatives, not apologies and tears," said Dr Gomez.

Watch SDP's reaction to PM Lee's apology:

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