The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has publicly responded to a message from Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on July 1, disputing his characterisation of their actions.
Earlier on the same day, Ong shared in a Facebook post that he and Manpower Minister Tan See Leng will be making ministerial statements in Parliament about the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in general.
Ong then mentioned the PSP:
"The recent two incidents of verbal and physical assaults on Indians were disturbing and not reflective of what Singaporeans are. They occur amidst an undercurrent of sentiment against immigrant Indians over the past 2 years.
There are concerns from Singaporeans that need to be addressed, but the unhappiness is also fuelled in no small part by false allegations by the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) about how the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) has given Indian PMEs a free hand to come here to work."
Ong said that he will explain how vital FTAs are to Singapore and how they work.
He and Tan will address in particular the false allegations that FTAs allow foreign professionals a free hand to live and work in Singapore.
He added that the PSP are invited to respond to the ministerial statements in an open debate.
Party disputes Ong's claims, calls on him to provide evidence or withdraw his statement and apologise
In a statement by PSP Secretary-General Francis Yuen, seen by Mothership, the party disputes Ong's claims.
He said they are "bewildered" by Ong's statement that the PSP has contributed "in no small part" to the undercurrent of sentiment against immigrant Indians, through PSP's "false statement" that CECA has given Indian PMEs a free hand to work here.
"This is a serious allegation made without facts as to where and when such alleged false statements were made by PSP. Unless there is evidence to back his allegation, the minister should withdraw his statement and make an apology.
This is a debate about PMETs not racial tension. Our NCMPs will debate the issue of foreign PMET vigorously in Parliament."
Yuen also said he welcomes Ong's upcoming response to their queries, and urged the government to furnish "all employment-related data" in Parliament.
You can see the response at this link.
Top image from Yuen Kin Pheng Facebook page and CNA YouTube.