Dear reader,

In Singapore This Week, we look at Pink Dot’s plea to Lawrence Wong; the sad story of MD Sharif Uddin, a Bangladeshi worker and writer forced to leave town; Siddharth Jagadeesh, Singapore’s youngest chess grandmaster; the graduating seniors from Yale-NUS College who expressed solidarity with Palestinians; the “green” partnership between Nanyang Technological University, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the National Research Foundation, and energy giant ExxonMobil; yet another sculpture of Stamford Raffles; a rising Singapore star at Cannes; Children’s Season at the museums; and the National Quantum Strategy.

This week we’ve also published a commentary, Should Singaporeans vote for a stronger opposition?, by Harpreet Singh, a senior counsel and new member of the Workers’ Party (WP), writing in his personal capacity.

We were thrilled when Harpreet, an accomplished writer who wrote two pieces on the Ridout Road saga last year for Jom, pitched this piece. But we also realised that we need to tread carefully. Unlike last year, Harpreet now has a political affiliation. Indeed, if he does stand in the next general election (GE), he’ll likely be the most credentialed candidate the opposition has had for decades. 

On the one hand, we want to offer a platform to voices that may not get enough air time in the mainstream media, in keeping with our values of diversity and inclusivity. On the other hand, we certainly don’t want to be perceived as peddling any single politician’s or party’s views. Another of our values is independence—Jom is not affiliated with any party, corporate interest, or organisation. So there are competing tensions when we think about publishing a piece like this.

As you know, Jom will not be endorsing any political party in the GE. Our limited resources mean we can cover just the four most prominent: the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and the WP. 

I’m glad that we’ve already published one Q&A with Leong Mun Wai of the PSP. And today I will write to three party leaders whom I also personally know, one each from the PAP, PSP, and SDP, to let them know that Jom is publishing something from Harpreet today, and would be very happy to publish their commentaries too. We don’t know when exactly the election will be—some say as early as late August or early September—but we do hope that we’ll have time to research and publish proper profiles of some of the prospective candidates, including Harpreet, the SDP’s Paul Tambyah, and perhaps one of the new faces with the PAP.

We understand it will take time for us to build acceptance and credibility with people and parties across the political spectrum. All we can do is approach our task with honesty and humility. Unlike our usual essays, I am not going to quote chunks of Harpreet’s writing here.

Read his commentary. And if you have any criticisms or responses, do reply here or e-mail me at and we’ll consider it for publication on our “Letters” page. Your views matter.

Jom baca, 
Sudhir Vadaketh
Editor-in-chief, Jom

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Amendment: the original version, including the one that went out over e-mail, said that we had written to the leaders of the PAP, PSP, and SDP that same morning. In fact, the e-mail was drafted but only sent in the afternoon, shortly after this newsletter went out. Sorry.

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