Part lll of the retrospective on Singapore's road to independence
Policies differences, personality clashes and power-tripping dogged the PAP's role as the opposition in Malaysia's Parliament. The Merger, celebrated just a year earlier, was resembling more like a marriage of convenience than a union of mutual trust and understanding.
STRAITS TIMES, DECEMBER 3 1964
The PAP came in for a series of attacks by Alliance back-benchers in Parliament today for its criticism of the turnover and payroll taxes announced last Wednesday by the Minister of Finance, Mr Tan Siew Sin.
The sharpest attack was delivered by Mr Lee San Choon (All Segamat) who accused the PAP of being two-faced.
He challenged PAP members to state publicly whether they had stood for the "haves" or "have nots."
Dealing with the budget, Inche Wan Abdul Kadir bin Ismail said the Straits Times had been publishing a lot of articles attacking the tax proposals. PAP speakers had also come to the House voicing the same views.
A voice in the Government back-benches was heard to exclaim: "Ban, ban the Straits Times."
Inche wan Abdul Kadir said he disagreed with the views expressed by the Straits Times and the PAP. The tax proposals, he said, were designed for the benefit of the ra'ayat.
If the PAP were champions of the middle-class, as they were now claiming, why did they cut the salaries of civil servants who belonged to the middle-class?
It claimed to champion the cause of the have-nots. But what had it done for the have-nots in Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam? he asked. He accused the PAP of being "double-tongued."
Inche Abdul Samad bin Ahmad (PMIP) stressed that the his party supported the budget. It had pledged to work with the Central Government in meeting confrontation.
He then launched into a strong attack on the PAP, which he described as "of the same colour" as the Barisan Socialis.
He recalled that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had met the "Plen" and asked why the Central Government had not arrested him.
Mr Lee San Choon, political secretary to the Finance Minister, said members of the Alliance were "honest and sincere" and did not have the ability to twist and distort facts like the PAP.
"We are not double-faced and we are unable to talk with different tongues in different places," he said.
"Unlike the PAP, we do not champion the cause of so-called socialism and at the same time advocate free enterprise.
"Unlike the PAP, we do not identify ourselves as leftists and give pioneer status to wholly owned Western capitalist organisations.
"Also, unlike the PAP, we do not attempt to secure support through class struggle."
Then, attacking Mr Lee Kuan Yew, he said the Singapore Premier "enjoys the most expensive millionaire's game - golf - washes down his westernised meals with expensive drinks, travels in expensive cars with 42 bodyguards, and has 21 secretaries to write his irresponsible speeches."
"At the same time," Mr Lee San Choon said, "he champions the so-called have-nots."
He added: "The PAP talks as if there is no confrontation. To them political power is all important. They are more interested in power politics than in serving the country."
Mr Lee recalled the days in 1959 when the PAP frightened away investors. Business fled from Singapore to the Federation and Hong Kong.
"After realising their mistake they declared they were not against capital. They fooled so many people that many people the PAP had changed for the better. Now we know.
"They are still wolves in sheep skin, their heart is the same. They are fighting the Barisan for political power, but ideologically they are the same."
STRAITS TIMES, DEC 31 1964
The Finance Minister, Mr Tan Siew Sin, today accused the Singapore Government of using all the machinery at the disposal of the State to inflame "mob passions" against the turnover and payroll taxes.
He said this when introducing the Supply Bill in the Senate. "They have even gone so far as to allow members of the public to speak on Radio Singapore to denounce the tax proposals," he said.
"I should warn the Singapore Government that if this were to happen, they will be held responsible.
"These actions are indeed strange, coming from a Government which calls itself pro-Malaysia but which is doing everything it can do to wreck proposals that are designed to ensure the financial and economical stability of Malaysia in the face of growing commitments for defence and development which we now have to meet if we wish to survive."