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NMP Leong Mun Wai: TraceTogether data should not be used by Police even in a child-kidnapping case

Feb 02, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Tuesday (Feb 2) opposed a Bill tabled in Parliament, which will allow police to use contact tracing data to investigate serious crimes, calling on the Government to "keep its original promise" - of only using TraceTogether data for contact-tracing purposes.

When asked by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah if he would object to the use of TraceTogether data to investigate a child kidnapping, even if no other evidence was forthcoming, Mr Leong said his party's position would not change.

Mr Leong said: "The PSP is not objecting to this Bill for the sake of objecting... But to trade off public trust in public health measures - which must be of utmost priority in a pandemic crisis - for public safety in which we are already strong, as evidenced by the much acclaimed crime-solving abilities of our police, calls into question the judgment to make such a trade-off."

Mdm Indranee response: "He (Mr Leong) is right. Yes, there is a trade-off but we will not trade a child's life for something like that."

PSP's position: Data should be used solely for contact-tracing

Data collected by TraceTogether, as well as other contact tracing systems, should be used solely for the purpose of contact tracing, said Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai during the debate on the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment) Bill.

He added that his party believes it is more important to prioritise public trust over public safety after weighing the costs and benefits.

Proposed Bill empower police with the authority to use TraceTogether data for criminal investigations into serious crimes

The proposed amendments to the law follow an outcry after it was revealed in Parliament last month that the police had the powers to use TraceTogether data for criminal investigations into serious crimes, under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Mr Leong had asked if this was necessary, given that the police already has "broad powers" under the CPC to access documents, people's computers and decryption data for investigation purposes.

PSP's Tan Cheng Bock voted out as Sec-Gen after alleged party infighting

Apr 01, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Former Republic of Singapore Air Force colonel Francis Yuen has been appointed secretary-general of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), taking over from party founder Tan Cheng Bock.

Dr Tan, 80, has become party chairman. This was announced by the PSP on Thursday (April 1), after its central executive committee (CEC) met on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, PSP Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai said Mr Yuen was the committee's unanimous choice to "lead PSP to the next level".

"Francis will lead and galvanise the party while (Dr Tan) concentrates on strengthening external support for PSP," he wrote.

Chairman role is basically a glorified flower pot

In many organisations around the world, the Secretary-General position has the authority to make all the decisions of running the organisation - or party. The Chairman generally does not have any more power pe se than any other voting member of the Executive Committee, except the power to run board meetings.

Comparatively, the Secretary-General is like the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

For example, the People's Action Party chairman is Gan Kim Yong while the Secretary-General is Lee Hsien Loong.

Party infighting?

The change comes amid reports of a rift in the party. An online news site, the RedWire Times, said in March that some party cadres have demanded for Dr Tan to step down as secretary-general, and allow for "more talented rising stars" to take over.

Commenting on the Redwire Times report, PSP member Kumaran Pillai said the new CEC line-up is in no way a reflection of any disagreement over the leadership of the party. Rather, Mr Yuen assuming the secretary-general role is part of a planned transition, he added.

“When Dr Tan started the party, he said he will mentor someone younger, and he hasn’t deviated from his original mission. People shouldn’t be reading too much into it.”

Mr Pillai added that he had a long dialogue with the party cadre who was quoted anonymously by Redwire Times as saying that some cadres are mustering support to demand for Dr Tan to step down from his post.

“His intention is not to stage a coup within the party. I think people have misinterpreted it and misunderstood what he said, sometimes it's like playing broken telephone, you say one thing and by the time you get to the last person, the whole story gets distorted along the way... there’s no infighting, there's no malice,” he said.

In other words, the flower pot needs watering.