In its traditional spirit of one-upmanship, the People's Action Parry (PAP) has, once again, one-upped the WP. When the losing WP Candidate for Punngol East declined her NCMP seat, the PAP MPs came baying for blood.
Ah, how the tables have turned.
Members of Parliament from the ruling party walloped her and the Worker's Party about her "lack of accountability" and "irresponsibility." The vile words that the PAP once spewed towards Lee Li Lian seem to have come back to haunt them.
Now, these same MPs are now faced with a conundrum as one of their own - Former MP for Bukit Batok SMC David Ong - has also resigned from his elected MP seat, citing nothing more than 'personal reasons.'
As of now, we know nothing more about the reason for David Ong's resignation than the following quote from him in an interview a couple of hours after his resignation.
“I feel that it’s the right thing to do to step down for the best interests of the party, my constituents and family.
There is personal indiscretion on my part which I deeply regret. I would appreciate if you can give me and my family the privacy to heal and rebuild.” – Former MP for Bukit Batok, David Ong
Unlike the case of Lee Li Lian where she was bombarded with questions from interviewers and Members of Parliament which made her repeat her reasons for the rejection of the NCMP seat on numerous occasions, it all seems a little hushed in the current case laid out before us.
For the sake of comparison, let us cast our minds back to the things that were said of Lee Li Lian
One from Charles Chong - the current MP for Punngol East
"This means in this case, respecting the results of voting in Punggol East SMC which saw sufficient number of voters in my constituency giving Ms Lee Li Lian a mandate to enter Parliament - a privilege she has regretfully declined to accept,
And the icing on the cake from the PAP's biggest fanboys - FAP
In a nutshell, rejecting her NCMP seat, even with a transparent reason, was deemed as an act akin to the betrayal of the very people who voted for her to speak up for them in Parliament. If that’s betrayal, then what would resigning out of the blue while leaving Bukit Batok constituents – 72.99% of whom voted for you – in the dark amount to?
While I understand that Mr Ong has asked for privacy, I believe that he would get that after he and/or his party comes clean. The Residents of Bukit Batok have a right to know exactly why their elected representative resigned. You ask for privacy and your wish may be granted, but only after some much-needed closure. I'm afraid the nature of public office just happens to be as such.
As Respect Singapore put it ever so eloquently,
"There must be (transparency). Not just in the name of some cliched catchphrase like transparency or accountability. But because the public needs and deserves to know."
The sooner you come clean, the better - so as to avoid tainting your own by-election campaign before it even starts and to grant Mr Ong the privacy he seeks.