Being positive, words with politicians and prepping for CNY: What politicians are talking about

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Petir v PSP

The governing People’s Action Party has been upping its social media game since it officially launched its sociopolitical website Petir.sg last November.

It fired a salvo on Jan 13 against Progress Singapore Party Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai with a warning that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Not content with just marshalling Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s famous axiom against Mr Leong’s latest statements in Parliament, the article also drew parallels with the deja vu that movie hero Neo experienced in sci-fi classic The Matrix right before all hell broke loose.

The article came two days after Mr Leong was given the opportunity to clarify claims that he made in the House, but instead used it to restate his allegations.

Mr Leong said a day earlier that he had received feedback from residents that some teachers have applied vaccination-differentiated measures in schools.

He subsequently said his claim was based on a screenshot from a Telegram chat group sent to him by a Facebook friend.

The Petir article asked readers if they were experiencing a “curious case of deja vu”, given that the Raeesah Khan affair had taken place just two months ago.

The former Sengkang GRC MP resigned from the Workers’ Party and vacated her seat on Nov 30, weeks after she admitted in the House to having lied in Parliament.

“Although not a literal life and death matter, it remains no joking matter for not being able to substantiate claims in the highest office in the land,” said the Petir article, which is unsigned.

“Mr Leong could surely learn from what happened to Ms Khan.”

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin said that while he would take “a more expansive approach” to allow for freer debates in Parliament, it does not mean that MPs can take liberties and do whatever they wished.

MPs are expected to be able to substantiate what they say in Parliament, he said.

“There has been little need for me to crack the proverbial whip or I guess to wield the mace!” he said, referencing two symbols of Parliament.

“But if I need to be firm, I will not hesitate to do so.”

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