'Is this the kind of politics we want?'

Let us not behave like we are a Third World country.

That was the salvo fired back by Workers' Party (WP) secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, responding to comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a media interview last Friday.

At that interview, Mr Teo had blasted Mr Low for shedding "crocodile tears" at Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew's decision not to contest in the upcoming elections.

Mr Low had praised the outgoing minister for being hardworking, saying he was disappointed that Mr Lui chose to leave.

In turn, Mr Teo said: "I think it's very characteristic of Mr Low to squeeze the most political mileage out of anything."

At a walkabout in Chong Pang yesterday, Mr Low shot back: "As a DPM (deputy prime minister), with all due respect, (if) he wanted to comment in that way, let Singaporeans judge and see this is the kind of standard of the People's Action Party (PAP) in politics.

"Is this the kind of politics we want in the future? What do we want the future of Singapore to be? Do we want to be more civilised in our political engagement? We are not a Third World country. I think voters will have to decide what they want Singapore to be."

He reiterated that he finds Mr Lui to be a responsible minister who does not try to "bully the opposition and intimidate us from asking questions".

WP chairman Sylvia Lim added: "Fundamentally, we are looking at the issue of Cabinet responsibility. We believe that the Cabinet is collectively responsible for all policy issues. His departure was a surprise to us."


In his interview, Mr Teo had also accused Ms Lim of wanting to "swallow up" Fengshan and "add (Fengshan) to the pot" to help the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) with its deficit.

His comments came in the wake of an Instagram photo that Ms Lim posted earlier last week, showing her sampling fried oyster omelette with the caption "The taste of Fengshan - heavenly! #reasonstowin".

Ms Lim said in response: "Well I would just like to say that I think it is a pity Mr Teo Chee Hean does not seem to have a sense of humour."

Both Ms Lim and Mr Low were speaking on the sidelines of a party outreach at a crowded Chong Pang Market and Food Centre, which lies within Nee Soon GRC.

This article was first published on Aug 17, 2015.
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