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Thursday, November 15, 2007

All Views Even Dissenting Ones - Nov 11

All views, even dissenting ones, will give depth: MP

BEING a member of the People's Action Party (PAP) does not mean you cannot be critical of the Government, said Mr Sam Tan on Sunday.
The MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC urged cadres, including those in the rank and file, to voice their concerns regardless of where the party stood on the issue.
'As party activists, we must have the conviction to speak up honestly, even if our views may not be the same as our leaders,' he said.
One of five MPs who spoke ahead of a dialogue at the PAP's annual convention, he cited past episodes to show that the party does not penalise those with dissenting voices.
Take, for example, last month's debate in Parliament over whether Section 377A of the Penal Code - which criminalises gay sex - should be repealed.
Three PAP MPs - first-termers Hri Kumar and Baey Yam Keng as well as veteran Charles Chong - had expressed reservations about continuing with a law they found to be inconsistent and unfair.
Singling out Mr Chong for special mention, Mr Tan noted that the former had voiced his disapproval at retaining the law right after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said it would not be amended.
Citing more proof of the PAP's tolerance for dissent, he pointed out that Ministers Vivian Balakrishnan and Raymond Lim have risen to the Cabinet despite being Government critics in their younger days.
Read the full report in Monday's edition of The Straits Times.

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