Workers' Party "straddling both sides of the fence" on hijab issue: Indranee

SINGAPORE - Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah has criticised the Workers' Party (WP) for not taking a clear position on the hijab issue.

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Read her full Facebook post here:

I am heartened by how the government and the Malay community are approaching the hijab issue, through calm and constructive dialogue. The issue is a difficult one. While I fully understand the desires of many Muslim Singaporeans, we also have to consider carefully its impact on our racial integration and harmony.

Two opposition parties - the NSP and WP - have made statements on this issue. Unfortunately, they have presented it as a simple, straightforward matter, with no trade-offs or downsides. If it were that easy, we would have been able to solve it long ago, and countries like Turkey (even with a government led by an Islamic party) would not be grappling with similar difficulties.

NSP, at least, have stated their stand. WP avoids stating clearly their position on the issue. It sounds sympathetic, but if you read the statement carefully, WP straddles both sides of the fence and merely calls for public dialogue. This does little to help resolve a delicate and difficult national issue and runs the danger of encouraging groups, including those from other communities, to take rhetorical positions and make public demands which they may then find difficult to move from.