Wild Olive Branch
Let The People Have Him, Chiam See Tong: The Early Years
Chiam See Tong (b. 1935) is Singapore’s longest serving opposition politician. A member of parliament for nearly three decades, Chiam is also one of Singapore’s most iconic, influential and beloved political figures. Through his efforts in shaping Potong Pasir into a “model constituency”, the veteran statesman has greatly contributed towards an increasingly pluralistic Singapore.
When he first entered politics in 1976, there was not a single opposition member in Parliament. As the founder of the Singapore Democratic Party, and later the Singapore People’s Party, Chiam has long rallied for the need of an opposition as the essential democratic check on a one-party system. He is respected for his level-headed and non-confrontational stance, and is the only opposition member to have received public apologies and out-of-court damages from cabinet ministers of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party.