Singapore | 4Sept 2015 | Asia Samachar |
The Indian community in Singapore, including the Sikhs, should not expect to have a representative in Parliament for every “Indian race”, though the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) is always willing to consider candidates who are qualified, according to a caretaker minister.
“If we start getting into the different Indian races, Tamils, Malayalis and so on, we would have endless problems,” caretaker Law Minister K. Shanmugam said during a dialogue with the Sikh community on Sept 2, according to a report in Straits Times.
He was responding to questions from the floor as to why the PAP, which goes into the Sept 11 general election without a Sikh candidates on its slate, at the Ministerial Dialogue 2015 organised by Young Sikh Association Singapore (YSA). It was held at the Central Sikh Temple and attended by about 100 members of the community.
PAP’s sole Member of Parliament from the Sikh community Inderjit Singh is not running again after serving for four-terms. On the other hand, three Opposition parties have field a total of four Sikhs to run as MPs, including incumbent Pritam Singh from the Worker’s Party (WP).
The other contenders are candidates are Gurmit Singh (WP), Harminder Pal Singh (Singapore Democratic Alliance, SDA) and Sukdeu Singh from Singaporeans First (SingFirst). [See Asia Samachar report here].
Elaborating on the question of Sikhs missing from the PAP lineup for the 2015 polls, Shanmugan was quoted by the report as saying: “Over a period of time, we have had a number of Malayalis, such as Hri Kumar, Vikram Nair… so do we then need to maintain a quota of at least three Malayalis in Parliament?”
He also urged the Sikh community to suggest possible candidates.
“You give us names. If there are people who can make it through the system, we will take them. But they will go through the same process that everybody else goes through. They will not be selected because they are Sikhs. They will be selected because they can represent all Singaporeans.”
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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