The move by the Government to amend the Trade Unions Act to undermine the rights of the Air Line Pilots Association-Singapore (Alpa-S) union members brings out the true colours of the PAP.
Whenever workers stand up for their rights in a democratic fashion, the Government changes the law to deprive further their ability to organize themselves the way they see appropriate. This denial of workers basic rights to freely organize themselves goes against international agreements that the Government has made such as the recently signed United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA). This latest amendment of the Trade Unions Act is an issue that should be addressed by the USSFTA.
It is also shameful, although entirely unsurprising, that the NTUC has supported the Governments blatant move to crush an independent union for protecting its members interests in a free and democratic manner. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), of which the NTUC is an affiliate, should look into the recalcitrant behaviour of the NTUC in its support of the Governments intolerance of workers rights in Singapore. But then what can we expect from a trade union led by a cabinet minister who, by no coincidence, is also a board member of the Singapore Airlines?
The amendment to the Trade Unions Act is but a symptom of a more serious disease of the abuse of powers by the PAP. Every time when Singaporeans assert their democratic rights, the PAP makes unseemly threats and thereafter changes the rules to ensure that such popular movements are demolished. For example, whenever the opposition makes electoral gains, the PAP amends the law to ensure that they win elections handsomely.
Like the Government, the Singapore Democrats are against anyone or any organization who try to do Singapore in. This is why we oppose the PAP. If this autocratic regime is allowed to continue to silence all dissent then it is inevitable that Singapore will ultimately get done in.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
(1 Dec 2003)