In a statement to the media, the veteran secretary-general of the Workers’ Party (WP) has declared that the party is now a step closer to being ready to form an alternative government.
Speaking during an interview for the party’s 60th anniversary this year, Mr Low said: “I think we have managed to build a foundation of people for the party to take another step, or to evolve into the next stage of forming a potential alternative government.”
“We can potentially upscale, but that depends on the support of the people as well. I don’t think the electorate will want an alternative government unless the PAP (People’s Action Party) becomes rotten. So, whether or not we will become an alternative government, I’m not sure.”
Low had initially been conservative about forming an alternative government, even after the party’s victory in the Punggol East by-election in 2013 where sentiment was high following the success at the 2011 General Elections where the opposition party took the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency. He had then told reporters that the WP would take 2 decades to even be in a position to form the next government.
He recounted that he was chastised by some for saying that. “Of course, in those days people scolded me. They said you’ve got to become alternative government! Why? You got to make progress. But I know it was not that simple, I know what was the reality. But, everybody was so excited.”
He explained that the expectations for the WP at that time were extremely high. “I don’t think that in reality the Workers’ Party could meet this expectation. It was a bubble. When the bubble bursts, you have a problem.”
However, he admitted that the goal of becoming an alternative government remains “quite far” for the party, and that winning another GRC did not necessarily mean it was on its way to becoming the next government.
”I think every political party aspires to be the next government,” he said. “But I am very realistic.”
Mr Low said that a lot of people do not realise that for the WP to be able to form an alternative government, it needs organisational capability. “You got to have team-based operations in the first place. A structure that people can operate at,” he said.