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Indranee Rajah raps Workers' Party on MediShield Life statement

Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah criticises the Workers’ Party for being "quick to claim credit" for the MediShield Life recommendations in a Facebook post on Monday (June 6).

SINGAPORE: Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah on Monday (June 9) criticised the Workers’ Party (WP) statement on the MediShield Life recommendations, calling the statement “vague” and “quick to claim credit”.

The WP statement, issued last Friday, said many of the enhancements put forth by the MediShield Life committee had been articulated by WP MPs in Parliament and by many Singaporeans over the years.

In a Facebook post on Monday titled “The Art of Claiming Credit”, Ms Indranee said the Workers’ Party’s statement implied that the MediShield Life enhancements were their ideas.

“There is vague attribution to articulation by ‘many Singaporeans’ but that's about it. The implication is that MediShield Life happened because they spoke up in Parliament. No credit is shared or given to anyone else,” she wrote. “While WP MPs have raised healthcare issues in Parliament, so too have PAP MPs and in far greater numbers and volubility.”

The MediShield Life recommendations are the combined efforts of Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) participants, civil servants who manned the OSC secretariat and “those who worked tirelessly on the policy recommendations - the PAP ministers, in particular the Ministers for Health and Finance and Mr Bobby Chin and his Committee,” Ms Indranee wrote.

As for attributing the recommendations to “many Singaporeans”, Ms Indranee criticised the Workers’ Party for dismissing the citizen feedback process during the debate on the President's address, when WP chief Mr Low Thia Khiang said: "To me what is important is the outcome of political process...constructive politics does not happen by order of the government nor does it happen through a national conversation or public consultation."

“Two weeks ago, they dismissed the citizen feedback process. Now they attribute this policy (MediShield Life) to citizen feedback, obtained by that very same process,” she wrote.

Ms Indranee also took issue with a line in the WP statement which said it "will continue to advocate that the Government should shoulder a higher proportion of healthcare costs, and share more risks on behalf of Singaporean families".

“WP provides no details of how this sweeping objective is to be achieved. Never mind that when they call on the Government to pay more, they are effectively calling on taxpayers to pay more, since the Government is funded largely through taxes. Never mind that when they call upon the Government to bear more risk, they are effectively asking the taxpayer to bear more risk as the risk has to be funded and paid for,” she wrote.

“The sum total of what WP is really saying is: Whatever the Government does, we will say ‘Do more!’” Ms Indranee said.

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