Party Chair, CEC members and fellow members of the Workers’ Party – I am delighted to be able to speak with you this morning.
In my address to Party cadre members on the 27th of December 2020, about six months after the General Election 2020, I had warned that having made some political progress at GE2020, we would thereafter be at our most vulnerable. To overcome this, we would have to singularly focus on working as one Team Workers’ Party.
I also shared that a fair number of us underestimate how critical commitment and Party discipline have been to the success of the Workers’ Party over the years.
I wish to expand on this theme of Party discipline today and in doing so, communicate some hard truths about being in opposition politics in Singapore.
My speech is divided into three parts. First, I will speak generally on party discipline. Next, I will speak on some areas of organisational conflict and finally, I will touch on our political priorities for the immediate term.
Over the last two years, a few books on Singapore politics have been published. Shashi Jayakumar’s History of the PAP is particularly interesting, as is Derek da Cunha’s Breakthrough 2.0.
Yee Jenn Jong sent his book Journey in Blue to the Party leadership for inputs before it went to the printers.
I will make some references to these books in my speech.
I want to start by asking us to reflect on the discipline that is necessary as an organisation so that we build on the political progress we have made thus far.
Let me state categorically that my comments do not have anything to do with any ongoing Party disciplinary matter.
In my view and I suspect in the view of many senior members of the Party, party discipline is really the X-factor that has ensured our growth and political progress.
It has also differentiated the WP from other opposition parties. I say this not with any arrogance but as a reflection of my observations over the last 25 years where I have closely followed the reasons behind the progress and evolution of the opposition in Singapore.
In fact, I would venture that this very party discipline has played a major part in raising public expectation that the WP will advance a rational, respectable and responsible brand of opposition politics in Singapore.
The purpose of running an organisation that is focused on discipline and does not break ranks in public, is not to breed a group of yes-men or yes-women.
The purpose of running a disciplined organisation is to make sure it operates with professionalism at all times. When individual members are professional, many other positive attributes logically follow suit, such as excellence, responsibility, punctuality, resilience and respect towards fellow members.
Professionalism is an all-weather value, no matter the circumstances, through highs and lows – it helps keep us focussed.
And that is because opposition politics in Singapore is a difficult marathon, not a hundred metre sprint. When things are going well, don’t be too exuberant. You don’t know how the next lap or the journey ahead will turn out.
When things are not going well and you feel the stress and pressure, focus your energies on response and recovery. We are in the public eye constantly, so even seemingly minute things like how we dress and how we speak and communicate with others – not forgetting the parliamentary contributions of the MPs in Parliament in particular – are things the Party is judged by.
Here is an example of the reality that we always have to bear in mind.
It also helps explain why the Organising Dept always reminds members to wear appropriate clothing and not look unkempt for Party events like Hammer sales.
This picture appeared in the Straits Times shortly after nomination day.
If you are a neutral reader, what do you see? I purposely asked this question of my friends who tend to support the PAP, but who are prepared to support the opposition.
I chose this group because this is the voter base we are seeking to persuade and win over.
They shared with me that the picture makes the members of the Workers’ Party look disrespectful, how-lian or sombong, not bothering to even stand up to speak to their political opponents, while in Party uniform.
A few noticed a member not wearing socks and said this was sloppy. Now all this criticism may sound harsh, and the WP members concerned may well have stood up a split second after this picture was taken.
But I share this with you today as a reminder of the hard truth of opposition politics in Singapore and how we must never expect the information ecosystem or mainstream media to be neutral.
The mainstream media may not be as blatant as in the past, but it will rear its ugly head during sensitive times like elections.
I found this story, prominently placed in the Straits Times during the last election, to be very instructive. It is not just candidates or MPs who are fair game, Party members can also be used as pawns in an information campaign to create a negative perspective of the Party.
Today, it is easy to record conversations, and we have to be mindful of ourselves, regardless whether you are an MP, a member or a volunteer.
But in this case, can we say we have exerted our best efforts to avoid putting ourselves in such a situation? Please allow me to be provocative for the sake of mutual learning for all of us.
What I say is a reflection of the questions I ask myself constantly too. If our members had adopted a more professional stance and stood up to communicate with our opponents, it would not have been possible to even have such a photo taken, let alone have it be considered for publication.
Another aspect of professionalism I want to address is how we disagree among ourselves.
There is something common amongst all of us. Whatever our race, language or religious creed, we are outspoken and opinionated in our desire for a better Singapore, one that is far more politically balanced than is the case currently. Otherwise, we would not have joined the Workers’ Party.
I mentioned earlier that we do not seek yes-men or yes-women in the Party. However, how we as Party members channel our views and raise our dissent or disagreement has a deep and long-lasting implication on public confidence in the Workers’ Party.
The ruling party has carried out many policies that finds society at opposite ends – policies that are of deep national significance. I will name a few.
The decision to allow casinos into Singapore in 2006, the population white paper of 2013 and more recently, the decision to repeal 377A all resulted in the loud and forceful articulation of many views.
The positions Singaporeans, and even members of our Party, take on these matters are extremely varied, and in some cases, incapable of compromise.
But you would never hear of PAP party members speaking out publicly against such policies or the Ministers who advanced them, or passing gratuitous comments online questioning their party. It is useful to stop and ask ourselves – why?
They have 1000 over cadre members and probably close to 30,000 members overall. Surely the chances of PAP members commenting publicly, especially online, is very high?
I would hazard that one of the reasons we do not hear of this is because the PAP place a premium on party discipline. And the reason they do so was best articulated by Lee Kuan Yew who in 1979 stressed the importance of clear signalling to the public and the PAP about the importance of unity within the party.
Lee Kuan Yew said – “We have been a coherent united group not given to cliques and factionalism….We learnt never to confuse our supporters by needless infighting and open dissension. We argued and threaded out our differences in private. In public, we never contradicted each other.”
Lee Kuan Yew was very clear. The consequence of cliques, factionalism and dissent would be to confuse, and would have a negative impact on the PAP’s political prospects.
It is no different for the Workers’ Party.
I would go further. More than a year ago I was interviewed by Sumiko Tan of the ST. While it was a candid conversation, there were areas where I made it a point not to stray into sharing my personal views, which would undoubtedly have had an impact on the Party and members of the Party.
I had simply told her during the interview:
“It is Party policy that in public we never run down or criticize our running mates no matter what other people may feel about it.”
I am grateful to the overwhelming majority of you here and our Party members who understand how damaging public disagreements and open ventilation of unhappiness can be for the Party and its future prospects.
This also extends to reckless and mindless communication and chatter by members to Party volunteers. A small number of members behave as if membership is some sort of a rank to flaunt around. Members should not present a negative image of the Party to volunteers who are potential members.
For the overwhelming majority of us, it does not need to be spelt out – and I, and the leadership before me have had no need to spell out – how important it is to keep our criticism and dissent internal to the Party and resolved through internal channels.
We know as a matter of political instinct what can damage the Party and the work so many people have worked for decades to build.
All CEC members, particularly the SG and Chair, participate actively in Hammer sales. We are directly accessible not just to Party members, but to members of the public too.
And of course, all Party members have ready access to the CEC to raise their concerns and have them tabled for discussion.
When the chips are down, the CEC does not retreat into a cave. We are out there getting our work done: house visits, Hammer sales, the MPs continuing their public Meet-the-People sessions – you name it – striving to best of our ability no matter what the circumstances.
No individual, including the Chair or Secretary-General, is bigger than the Party. But if you do not have the courtesy of even informing your colleagues of your dissent or concerns through proper channels like the CEC or even picking up the phone, and instead self-flagellate online or leak to the press, do not be surprised if Party members start to believe you to be playing someone else’s game and pursuing your own agenda.
Or that you are someone else’s tool, whose ultimate interest is in destroying the Party or preventing it from growing into that rational, responsible and respectable opposition Singaporeans want us to be.
Even worse is the conduct of members who do not avail themselves of internal processes available under our Constitution to address what they deem to be grave concerns.
And let us not be naïve. There are individuals around, from outside the Party who are deeply interested in the strategic direction of the Workers’ Party. Here are Yee Jenn Jong’s reflections, in the run-up to the 2016 Party elections:
“I received an invitation by a friend for lunch. He said that he would bring another friend along, someone interested in politics….they opined that the WP had been too conservative and posed the question as to whether the WP was ready for a change of leadership….I was with two non-Party members….I told them I was not able to discuss matters of the party and changed the topic. Obviously, there were those interested enough to mount a campaign to even lobby people outside of the Party to check out my allegiance.”
Do you think our political opponents will not notice WP members who ‘like’ the Facebook posts of our political opponents?
Do you really think our political opponents will conclude that intra-party conflict or public airing of dissent in the WP is an approach they will seek to emulate and follow in the name of openness and transparency? That publicly airing your dirty laundry or dissent is an expression of democratic feedback that is to be followed or admired?
Let me be clear as to how I see it after closely studying the PAP for the greater part of my adult life. They will be rubbing their hands in delight and planning how to use every piece of evidence of intra-party conflict or personal dissent to their political advantage. Their members, activists or supporters will use such evidence to sow doubts about the Party in the public eye and to showcase the Workers’ Party as unworthy of the trust of Singaporeans and voters. And in politics, that is fair game.
Here is how they do this. Effortlessly, I must say.
In July 2021, at least two members of another political party felt it proper to openly ventilate their dissatisfaction on their party’s Facebook page. Their dissent was of course carried by the media – at minimum, in Today and the Straits Times – citing the ‘racial undertones’ of that party’s position on a contemporary matter.
Now, it is not for me to comment on the internal workings and the policy positions of another political party. But I would assume that their party manifesto and political positions would be publicly supported by all members. And that any serious differences in views would be discussed in closed-door sessions or channelled through their CEC.
A few days after the online comments of those members, the leadership of this political party met and resolved the issue internally, with all their members aligned to the party position.
But of course, the mainstream media signature on this show of unity and internal support of this political party was exceedingly small compared to the reporting on the conduct of the very small number of members who broke ranks and ventilated their views online.
In addition, the poor self-discipline of this tiny number of members had parliamentary consequences for that opposition party.
This is what one Minister said in response to media reports of the airing of that party’s dirty laundry in public:
“Your statements have been interpreted by your own party members as being racist. People in your party think your statements are racist. Would you accept? I do not expect that you will accept that you are racist, but would you accept that people in your party think that your statements are racist and have said so.”
If we in the Workers’ Party have no sense of Party discipline and how each of us is an ambassador and agent of progress for the Workers’ Party, the same thing will happen to us. Our political opponents will gladly accept these own goals which are most certainly politically bankable.
Before we think these issues only happen in other opposition parties, I will add that the Workers’ Party has also experienced similar episodes, albeit in a different context.
As we grow our membership base as a Party, we have to be clear that there must be disciplinary consequences for breaking ranks. Not because there are reputations to protect or because there is embarrassment that needs to be covered up.
But because no serious political party can function properly or expect the public to have continued confidence in it if it either does not speak with one voice in public or allows members to show support for other political parties. As Mr Lee Kuan Yew reminded the PAP, “we argued and threaded out our differences in private”.
So I am grateful for the members who have reached out to not just Party Chair and me, but to other CEC members to raise their concerns.
All of you know that you can write in to the CEC any time with your concerns, so we can deliberate on it. We will give you the courtesy of a reply, consider your feedback and if appropriate, change our position.
If some members choose to engage in a campaign of whispers and gossip, or comment on Party matters online or make comments to journalists in the media, they should not be surprised to find themselves asked to explain their actions that have the potential to bring the Party into disrepute and tarnish its reputation.
I have chosen to speak openly about this subject today because we have a very varied membership base, both in terms of age and political experience.
We should always be looking at the future evolution and continued growth of the Workers’ Party as a credible political party in Singapore. And we should spend our time thinking about how the Party can be strengthened as an organisation for the next generation of Singaporeans.
At its core, the Party should always be thinking about doing right by the many Singaporeans who don’t want us to fail – doing right by our fellow members and hundreds of volunteers, some of whom spend hours in dedicated service of the cause.
And they do it for nothing but the success of the Workers’ Party. No subsidised HDB parking, no HDB BTO selection priority, no Primary 1 placement priority for their children.
We owe it to the Workers’ Party supporters of today and tomorrow to be the best versions of ourselves so that the Party flag continues to rise high over Singapore, even as it always flutters below the national flag.
This brings me to the next section of my speech. What are the possible areas of organisational conflict within the Workers’ Party, and how will the Party seek to address them? I will name three.
First, dissatisfaction at being overlooked for candidate selection, second, misalignment of an individual’s political views with the Party’s policy and political objectives, and finally, personality clashes.
On dissatisfaction at being overlooked for candidate selection, I will say from the get-go that I empathize with members who feel disappointed when they are not selected as candidates.
The challenge for the election committee and every SG and Chair of the CEC is not just choosing one person, but envisioning a team where individual candidates complement each other.
Unless you are standing in a Single Member Constituency, your individual attributes may or may not cohere well with your prospective team members. Another reason you may not be fielded is that your candidacy may not be aligned with the strategic direction the Party is taking for that election campaign.
The Party leadership makes the best decisions we can in the circumstances we are in at that moment in time. Bear in mind, the WP does not know when elections will be called, unlike the PAP. So, we go to general elections with the cards in our hands, not the cards we wish we had.
We do look inwards towards more senior members of the Party and invite them to be considered as candidates. Before the last election, I asked a few long-time members and many others from within the Party if they wished to stand as election candidates. This was so that team configurations could be considered. All these senior members turned down the prospect of standing as a WP candidate at GE2020.
As you know, it takes much careful thought and deliberation before deciding that you are ready to contest as an opposition candidate. Not everyone is prepared for the rough and tumble of politics.
I would encourage members to read my speech to NUS students earlier this year – which can be found on the Leader of the Opposition website (https://leaderoftheopposition.sg) – on the reality behind candidate selection in the Workers’ Party. Candidate selection has never been easy and it is not going to get any easier.
But I can assure members that the CEC and Party leadership will continue to do right by the Party and field those who are prepared to take up the challenge of public service, walk the ground, complement their fellow candidates, have a deep interest in service and understand the importance of sacrificing their personal time for their constituents and residents.
The second area for potential conflict within the WP that I want to address is the misalignment between Party and personal objectives.
I would like to thank cadre members for sharing their feedback with me at recent sharing sessions and for the frank exchanges. One cadre member shared that he was not totally in agreement with the Party’s policy on HDB’s Ethnic Integration Policy or EIP and on a minimum wage. Such differing views are not unusual because we all bring different views to the table in our desire to seek better outcomes for Singapore.
The CEC deliberates the manifesto and Party objectives before we go to elections. We take in feedback all the time between elections to review the Party position and welcome feedback from not just cadre members but all members.
Please write in formally to the CEC with your views if you have concerns or disagreements about existing manifesto positions or have some ideas to contribute.
We will give your views considered feedback. But in the end, the Party leadership and CEC have to exercise our considered judgement in advancing a manifesto that is politically compelling to voters.
Coming back to the EIP and the minimum wage, in the two years since the election, we have seen the Government shift on both policies. The shift has been subtle but not insignificant.
I am not going to suggest that our Party position caused this change, but let’s not underestimate it as well. WP MPs have not wavered from getting into the throes of debate in Parliament on both issues and did not hold back from debating Government Ministers on these matters.
At the National Day Rally 2021, we saw the Government move to declare a Local Qualifying Salary Floor of $1400, effectively introducing a quasi-minimum wage in Singapore.
Of course, don’t expect our political opponents to call this a minimum wage because it will be construed as a political point for the Workers’ Party. But if looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…
On the Ethnic Integration Policy – after many years of the Party position being in our manifesto, the Government admitted to the rough edges of the policy and introduced a buy-back option for affected units.
Were we wrong to advance both items in our manifesto? I am proud we stuck the course.
Policymaking, said the American economist and former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Blinder, consists of substance, politics, message and process – all interacting at the same time.
On certain issues, we should not shy away from aiming high and taking a position of the highest ideals especially when these intersect with bread-and-butter issues – wages and housing matters certainly qualify.
But in doing so, we have to prepare ourselves for an extensive debate, because aiming low may not sufficiently amplify the issue enough for any change to happen.
In such cases, timing, message and politics are the key drivers in effecting policy change. On other issues, substance and message are in the driver’s seat. These are questions of political judgement, just like determining what proposals we ought to advance in our manifesto.
In the final analysis, the Party is guided by the desired end-state of a better Singapore for our fellow Singaporeans, not by a desire to get personal with our political opponents nor by a need to oppose for the sake of opposing to score a political point.
So, I thank members who write to us or speak to us about manifesto or proposed policy positions they disagree with or feel can be improved, because it sharpens the MPs before they go into a debate with the PAP or anyone else.
If you are so passionate about an issue, please go ahead and even write and submit a research paper to the CEC that looks at the issue from all sides, or to disagree with the Party position.
We will look at it with care and interest, and with an openness to being persuaded. But do expect that a response may come your way explaining why the CEC makes a different judgement call.
Party discipline requires all of us to support the Party position even if our personal views may be different. For the WP Members of Parliament, in all cases, unless the Party Whip is lifted, they put their private personal views aside and publicly defend the Party position.
To this end, one of the Workers’ Party guiding principles is Merdeka. Many of us translate Merdeka literally as independence. But the older Malayan nationalists of all races did not just see it as independence from a colonial master. Amongst other perspectives, they understood it as overcoming social injustice and economic exploitation, and represented their aspirations to build a fairer world. At a very fundamental level, I dare say that these principles beat strong in many of our hearts today and drive many of our policy positions and manifesto proposals.
So if your personal politics has drifted away from the Workers’ Party, it may be best for you to channel your political passions elsewhere.
Of course, it does not mean that all your work and effort in the Party has gone down the drain. If you do decide that it is best that you part company with the Party, rest assured that your contributions to the growth of the Workers’ Party as a rational, responsible and respectable Party can never be understated.
The third and final area of potential organisational conflict within the Party is the reality of personal conflicts between members. Take a look around you. We have members from across all age groups, races and religions.
As we grow, and as is natural in large organisations, some amount of friction between even the best of friends is inevitable.
There is no real hierarchy to speak of in this Party, except of course the CEC, as the highest decision-making body of the Party.
If any inter-personal conflicts or differences of opinion affect our public outreach to residents and the general public, a line has been crossed.
As a public facing organisation – as all political parties are – we must jealously guard against cliques and factionalism. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
Today, thanks to the work of many, and certainly not ignoring those that came before us, members can contribute in many different areas of Party work.
These extend from media to policy to Hammer sales, moving to different divisions across Aljunied, Hougang and Sengkang and the contested constituencies where we are active, and even to the WP Community Fund, a charity which always needs manpower and support to run its welfare programs.
In the end, we are all contributing to the Party and cause and can do so in many different ways. Do not let your personal differences get in the way of what you can achieve with the Party.
A member can move across different functional groups and areas where they are needed, but only if they are not themselves a disruptive influence or one who put’s his/her own interests above the Party’s collective interests in the first place.
Even if there is a situation of interpersonal conflict between members, if a person remains dedicated to the Party and is committed to the advancement of a more balanced political system, I am sure you can be deployed elsewhere and continue to contribute.
Everyone in this room represents one piece of a jigsaw puzzle comprising many other individuals that in totality, make up Team Workers’ Party. I say jigsaw puzzle on purpose because that is how critical each one of you is or can be. A missing piece in any jigsaw puzzle can be easily spotted.
In the final part of my speech, I would like to look forward towards the political landscape in the short-term.
If the Government decides to run a full-term, we have about 2 – 3 years before the next election. For those of you who have long memories, the PAP usually responds very sharply after any general election result they find less than satisfactory.
Policy shifts come thick and fast, especially after mid-term and no political observer has forgotten the PAP’s “shift to the left” after the 2011 election.
Some older members here may even remember what happened after the opposition in Singapore made good progress in the 1991 election. That progress was quickly frittered away and lost by the next election.
According to Shashi Jayakumar’s book, at some point in the past, PAP HQ set up an “O” Committee or Opposition Committee to closely monitor the opposition. I would place good money on anyone who says they are doing the same today, watching the opposition parties very closely.
Every word in Parliament, every Parliamentary question filed, every letter written on behalf of a resident, every action on the ground.
What we must not forget is the track record of the PAP when it comes to managing the political opposition. Singapore’s history is littered with many defamation suits filed against opposition members and parties. Opposition politicians have been bankrupted. A thoughtless word here or there or an unsubstantiated inference or implication – can easily trip you up. These are just some of the things to always remain alert to, and there are others that we must always be alive to.
This is in the DNA of the PAP. In spite of their close to 70 years of existence, within the living memory of the majority of their members, they have no substantive experience accommodating opposition parties as an integral part of our democratic system, in the national interest.
That is precisely why it is important for us to be on our guard, not to allow inter-personal disputes to spill over into the public realm, and instead to work as one Team Workers’ Party in a dedicated and professional manner for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans.
And do not for one minute assume the PAP are only about using brass knuckles against the opposition. Never underestimate how hard they are prepared to work on the ground.
In fact, as we enter mid-term, assuming a 5-year term, they will move into a higher gear.
I started this speech with some books and I will end off with a book that was launched only two weeks ago. It is a collection of essays titled The Nominated Member of Parliament Scheme and is edited by former NMP Anthea Ong.
In 2013, Parliament debated the Population White Paper. That day, like the Workers’ Party, three NMPs voted against the Paper, while one abstained. Former NMP Laurence Lien makes a most interesting contribution to the book about what went on, on the side-lines of that debate:
“Why was there behind-the-scenes ‘lobbying’ of specific NMPs, which I assumed was to ensure that the majority of the NMPs would vote for the amended motion….I knew that a fellow NMP had a ‘friendly’ call as a reminder that since the NMP’s company hired foreign workers, it would be out of line to vote against the motion. Why was the NMP nudged to give more weight to a personal conflict?”
This reflection provides an insight of the extent to which the PAP attempts to dominate the political narrative. More pointedly, in my opinion, it provides an unblemished snapshot of their real tolerance for non-PAP views.
From now to the general election, we will see stronger and more frequent ground engagement from the PAP. In Hougang, Aljunied and Sengkang. Let me state in no uncertain terms – it will be a very tough fight. And it is going to be the same wherever we contest.
What do we have going for ourselves? We have a strong group of members and volunteers pounding the pavement several times a week and they have been doing so for some time now.
I am determined that the efforts of our members and volunteers will count for something. While I cannot predict the future, I do know that we reap what we sow.
Hard work and both self and Party discipline does pay off. At the very least, you do not look back at your political journey and the opportunity you had with regret, wishing you had done more when you had the chance. By then it would be too late.
As much as we work hard to earn the privilege to serve Singaporeans, let us remember how important it is for the Workers’ Party to always speak with one voice and to never underestimate the importance of party discipline. It will prove especially vital in the next two to three years.
To conclude, in the Art of War, Sun Tze tells us that the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
And the best means for our political opponents to achieve this is through the internal self-destruction of the Workers’ Party. This is what we are inviting when any member of the Party underestimates the importance of party discipline.
Keep your sleeves rolled up and make your time with the Workers’ Party something you will remain proud of, for the rest of your life. Thank you. I will take your questions during the Question-and-Answer segment of today’s program.
工人党2022年党员论坛：秘书长演讲 – 党的纪律 （节略版）
今天，我就以 “坚守党纪” 这个话题做进一步的阐述。同时，也谈谈身为新加坡的反对党所必须接受的事实硬道理。
近两年，本地出版了几本有关新加坡政治的书。其中，萨稀·贾古玛 （Shashi Jayakumar）的《人民行动党历史》和德里克·达库尼亚 （Derek da Cunha）的《突破2.0》令人感兴趣。
一些人注意到一名没有穿袜子的党员，说这是 “懒散” 。这些批评现在听起来可能很刻薄，而有关的党员也很可能在被拍下这张照片后一瞬间就站了起来。
2006年允许设立赌场、2013年的人口白皮书、以及最近宣布废除 377A 节条文，挑起了社会人士的极力反馈，发表他们看法。
我想再说。一年多前，我接受了《海峡时报》记者 Sumiko Tan 的访问。虽然那是一次坦诚的对话，但在某些方面，我特别注意不把个人的看法说出来，否则无疑会影响我们党和党员。
我们别太天真。党内和党外都有一些人对工人党的战略方向深感兴趣。以下是余振忠在他的书中对 2016 年党内选举这么一段回忆的描述。
如果我们工人党没有党纪律，不自觉每个人都是工人党的使者，是工人党成功进展的媒介，同样的事情也会发生在我们身上。我们的政治对手会乐意接受这些 “自己踢进自己龙门的乌龙球” ，而且绝对可以从中得到政治加分。
我鼓励大家阅读我今年初向国大学生发表的演讲。这篇演讲可在反对党领袖网站( https://leaderoftheopposition.sg )上找到，内容是关于工人党遴选候选人背后的现实情况和挑战。遴选候选人并非易事，将来的挑战也会更艰巨。
根据萨稀·贾古玛的书，行动党总部曾在某个时候设立了 “O” 委员会（“O” 即 “反对党” Opposition 的第一个字母），以密切监督反对党的动向。
“什么原因要在幕后游说某些官委议员？我想这是为了确保多数官委议员会投票支持修正后的动议……据我所知，有一位官委议员接到了一通 “友好” 的电话，提醒这位官委议员的公司聘请了外国客工，投反对票是不恰当的。为什么那位官委议员需要被轻轻推醒为了个人的冲突而做更多的考量？”