Pritam and PJ Thum: The Patriot and the Traitor?

“To me, above all, in the Opposition, we must be good and patriotic Singaporeans. We must not go around the world denouncing Singapore.”
— Chiam See Tong.
Chiam was saying this about the man who wrested the SDP leadership from him, Chee Soon Juan. The younger generation may not know Chee’s character, but my generation will never forget how he betrayed his mentor Chiam, faked a hunger strike and repeatedly broadcast Singapore-bashing lies.

Everyone likes to talk about how kelian he is, his kids have no TV in the house, etc…. No one ever talks about the money Chee takes from foreign organisations, usually funded by Western powers, so that he can go overseas and badmouth Singapore at every turn. These are the actions of a man who doesn’t have Singapore’s interests at heart.

Which is all the more refreshing to see that Pritam Singh, leader of the WP, stood together with the other members of the Select Committee last week to back the findings of the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods. He agreed that we should take stronger measures against malicious fake news campaigns. He even agreed that PJ Thum’s submissions “cannot support (his) contention”.

Clearly he understands the clear and present threat that rogue nations and operators like Russia and China pose to Singaporeans and to our local politics. We have always been clear. Singaporean issues are for Singaporeans to decide. No one else. It was not too long ago that Russia managed to swing the US elections to Trump. Apparently, over 100,000 Fake News bots and accounts from Russia influenced the Brexit vote in the UK two years ago. Now Europe is in a mess, all sides are fighting each other. This is what Russia wants!

Let’s not forget China. They are pouring so much money into cyber warfare. It is even easier for them to influence how some Singaporeans might think, because we share the same language. They can target our Chinese community with anti-Malay Fake News, and turn both against each other. That’s why it’s so important that we recognise the danger of Fake News and legislate against it.

Well done, Pritam. Whatever our differences politically, we must always stand together against foreign threats. That is the hallmark of being a responsible politician.

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