Vivian Balakrishnan: WP's manifesto could have been written by PAP

A bit of a spark.

Nyi Nyi Thet | July 01, 2020, 09:47 PM

The live debate on Mediacorp by four political parties has ended.

There's a lot to say about who won, or who didn't make an impression. We will have an entire breakdown later.

The line of the debate though might have come during segment two, when it was time for Vivian Balakrishnan of the People's Action Party to ask Jamus Lim of the Workers' Party a question.

Here is his starting line:

"You know Dr. Lim, I've read your manifesto, and actually to be honest with you, we could have written the same manifesto.

And that's why people have called the Workers' Party PAP-lite, or PAP-like. Whatever line or stand PAP has taken, you basically use that as your reference point, and take a half step to the left."

Vivian's question to Lim was about the issue of cost — how is the WP going to trade-off with costs, and who's going to pay for it?

Heres what Lim had to say:

"Whether we are in fact just equivalent to the PAP, and I think, we have often emphasised in the Workers' Party that we do not object to policy, just for the sake of objection. Ultimately what we want is the right policy."

Lim said that within the manifesto, WP had done the math behind it, and assured Vivian that it was budget neutral, but acknowledged it required trade offs.

Where WP and PAP fundamentally differ, said Jamus, is this: Where the tra deoffs would occur, PAP would take the side of capital.

According to Lim, the WP thinks that workers currently receive an insufficient amount for every dollar of national income. This needs a re-balance, he added.

You can watch the entire exchange here.

Top photo: CNA screengrab.