Tharman attacks Low Thia Kiang for scoring ‘political credit’
Posted by temasektimes on March 6, 2012
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has lashed out at WP MP Low Thia Kiang for scoring ‘political credit’ in a heated exchange over the Manpower Ministry’s Budget in Parliament yesterday.
Aljunied GRC MPs Chen Show Mao and Low Thia Kiang had criticized the dependency ratio ceilings (DRCs) and levies as being too ‘blunt’ and ask the ministry to calibrate them based on the needs of each sector.
Mr Tharman had earlier said last Thursday that such “tailoring of DRCs would be difficult to implement, counterproductive and inequitable.”
However Mr Low continued to press on the issue, prompting Mr Tharman to chide him:
“You think there’s now some political credit to be gained by talking about the SMEs – we are all talking about the SMEs – and you feel that being as sympathetic as possible to them is a useful line to take.”
Mr Low wasn’t impressed and replied:
“The DPM is trying to suggest that I gain political credit by saying those nice parts but failing to state those not-so-nice parts. He’s wrong.”
The government has introduced a slew of measures in the Budget including increasing the DRCs to reduce the inflow of foreign workers into Singapore.