In a keynote address to NTUC members at Orchid Country Club, PM Lee said that the bond between the PAP and the NTUC needs to be sustained and strengthened further, as Singapore goes into uncharted waters of global uncertainties. He said that this is to prevent the forces of angst and social division from happening in Singapore.
PM Lee was obviously reacting nervously to the Hong Kong riots that sees the citizens uprising against the government, and to a lesser extend, also sees the threat that the Malaysian GE might influence Singapore, seeing that the opposition there ousted the ruling party for the first time in Malaysia’s history. PM Lee was obviously scared that Singapore, particularly the PAP, could face the same issues.
Note how the speech comes at a time when Singapore’s General Election draws ever nearer, and also how he did not subtly try to hide his words. He said the PAP and NTUC to work together, not NTUC to work with the Singapore government, with opposition and all. So, he has gone all out to ask NTUC to work with a specific political party, thus bringing in partisan politics to a Trade Union.
But, again, how much closer does he wants NTUC to be with the PAP? NTUC has and always will be headed by a PAP Minister. Of course, NTUC will toe the PAP party line. Is there such a thing as separation between political party and a trade union? No such thing, obviously.