NDR 2022: Workers' Party says it will take part in Section 377A parliamentary debate, but notes other issues facing S'pore
SINGAPORE — The Workers' Party (WP) will take part in the parliamentary debates on the "very important issues" of the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code and the proposed Constitutional amendments to safeguard marriage, but noted other concerning issues facing Singapore such as inflation and cost of living.
SINGAPORE — The Workers' Party (WP) will take part in the parliamentary debates on the "very important issues" of the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code and the proposed Constitutional amendments to safeguard marriage, but noted other concerning issues facing Singapore, such as rising inflation and cost of living.
In a statement following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's announcement at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 21) that the law which criminalises gay sex will be repealed, the opposition party said that it recognises the fundamental right of people to live free from fear and discrimination, and to be treated equally under the law.
"By the same token, we also respect the right of different groups to hold and discuss positions according to their conscience," said the WP.
"Singapore is a pluralistic society that consists of multiple religions, ethnicities, cultures, and languages. Mutual accommodation and tolerance are critical considerations for legislation in our context."
While the party acknowledged that Section 377A and the definition of marriage are very important issues, it highlighted other issues such as those affecting Singaporean households, especially those on fixed incomes and low-to-middle incomes.
"This is a time when high levels of inflation and cost of living continue to affect Singaporean households," said the party. "We repeat the calls we have made in Parliament for specific reforms to address these bread and butter concerns."
These calls include strengthening the Singapore dollar further to make imports cheaper, selling "long bonds" to dampen speculative investment, keeping asset prices under control and spending more on "those among us who are hurting most for a temporary period" by rebating any windfall tax gains.
WP also reiterated its stance rejecting the Goods and Services Tax increase, which it said "adds to inflation at a time when it is wholly unnecessary".
Mr Lee had said in his Mandarin speech during the National Day Rally that a decision to not raise the GST would be "politically expedient", but also “irresponsible”.