PSP's Tan Cheng Bock and SDP's Paul Tambyah trade fist bumps, disagree with PM Lee that opposition silent on Covid-19

PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Democratic Party

Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) Paul Tambyah and Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) Tan Cheng Bock have rebutted statements made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the opposition does not have a plan for tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

The two party bigwigs met during a walkabout this morning (July 7), where they were snapped trading fist bumps, and stopped to answer questions from the media.

In comments published two days ago, PSP party chief Dr Tan proposed a televised live debate on the Covid-19 response featuring himself and Dr Tambyah against PM Lee and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

When asked today what the debate would be about, SDP chairman Dr Tambyah said: "The PM has asked for what the opposition parties are doing about Covid-19.

"If he was not so disconnected, he would have known that for the last few months, we've been giving comments, suggestions. We've also said explicitly that holding an election during a pandemic is very reckless and dangerous.

"We are hoping that the Prime Minister and maybe Mr Chan would agree to take part in this debate, so that the people in Singapore can make a choice for themselves."

Dr Tan also chimed in on why they are collaborating: "They think we are incapable of managing Covid-19", adding that they should "let Singaporeans decide whether we have the capability and also the experience."

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The former general practitioner added that he has experience in "working in the infectious disease environment" when he worked with Dr Tambyah's late father at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Dr Tambyah, who's the resident-designate of the International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID) in 2022, said: "We have a broader picture and a fuller understanding of how to deal with the epidemic as a whole."

ALSO READ: Fist bumps and friendly exchanges among political rivals on the campaign trail

candicecai@asiaone.com