Workers’ Party Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang (LTK) delivered a hard hitting statement during Parliament debate on Tuesday (4 July) on the relation with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LHL)’s ministerial statement refuting allegations of abuse of power by his siblings, when Emeritus Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong asked the Nominated Members of Parliament and Members of Parliament from Workers’ Party to state their position on the integrity of the PM just as how Mr Low had done in the case of the HPL/Nassim Jade saga in 1996.
Mr Low stood up and issued a clarification against what ESM had sought in his statement, “This episode, there are no investigations done, it’s ownself defend ownself in parliament with the PAP MPs. I mean I wonder how you would want to convince me and my party and Singaporeans that it is conclusive, and it is something that we can all be convinced entirely.”
“Though I said I am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the Prime Minister,” he added.
“Madam, I understand the Prime Minister’s difficulty in, I mean, sueing your own siblings. And he is worried that he will further damage his parents’ name. But I mean I hope he would clarify the doubts I have this question, this nagging question that why he didn’t sue,”
“First, does he not agree that his family is not any ordinary Singapore family. And the person at the centre of the issue is the Prime Minister of Singapore, not any other person.”
“Madam, secondly, I wonder whether the Prime Minister is not worried that the PAP as the ruling party, would be seen as (practicing) double standards,” Mr Low added.
“Has he forgotten, the former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who is now ESM, sue the Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong during General Election 1997, for just making a police report?” he then asked.
“But now these are allegations that are much more serious than that. And more importantly, we are talking about upholding the legacy of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, that the nation, the laws above the family and individuals.”
“By using family, does this not also show that blood is thicker than water. Own siblings, cannot sue. After all, we are all brothers and sisters. But political opponents and critics, sue until your pants drop. I cannot square this, Madam speaker, with all these arguments,” he ended.
Many netizens commented on his speech, praising Mr Low for his comments made.
LHL should sue his sibling as nobody should be above the law.
- David Ng wrote, “If the Prime Minister believes his case is strong, he should write to LHY and LWL to ask them to substantiate their allegation with full evidence or withdraw their allegation with a public apology. Failing which, the Prime Minister must sue both (as the Prime Minister of Singapore). This is only right and the way to end all this dispute. No one is above the law as what the Prime Minister has said on the first day.”
- Frederick Lim wrote, “PM never sue siblings for allegations means he is doing this on personal interest. If he have placed national interest above his own interest, he would have sued his siblings to clear himself and the Government of any allegations. If he has a good case.”
- Zulkarnain Hassan wrote, “PM Lee said ‘whether you are the Prime Minister, or the children of the founding Prime Minister – you are not above the law.’
But he also said he will not sue his siblings for libel or defamation.
So, are certain people in fact above the law, contrary to what PM Lee asserted? What does this mean for the rule of law in Singapore?”
- Bennett Koong wrote, “He do not dare to sue la.. Because he knows somewhere inside those allegations lies a truth/ mistake that if known, could bring down his reputation. To apply icing on the cake is to say, i will not sue my siblings, because it will…. whatever the reason la.”
- Si Shien Cheong wrote, “May I know who else will not be sued for false allegation against the government? PM siblings? Who else? DPM siblings? PM children? Ministers’ sibling? Can we have the list of offenders that will not be sued or are immuned? Can the list be found in any of the government department?”
- Alan Cheng wrote, “If no one is above the law as claimed by PM himself, so why don’t he sue and let the legal process take its course? Just because they are his family members and he doesn’t wish to besmirch his father’s name is not only practicing double standards, he is also not upholding justice. This will go down very badly as to what kind of PM he is.”
- Tan Marvin wrote, “Those who got sued for defamation are also somebody’s father, brother or son.
No immunity for late LKY’s children when they have misbehaved.”
- KT Jas Per wrote, “What LTK said was quite true. PM has to be very firm on his doing as he is the PM. His responsibility is more then anyone. Since his siblings have move until this stage, he has to do something.”
- Siu Siu Lee wrote, “Parliament discussions is official government platform. In parliament, LHL stood there as our PM, and CANNOT be as elder brother of LWL & LHY. PM Lee must differentiate his state duties from his personal issues. If his siblings is making allegations against integrity of PM or our government, of course LHL must sue in his official capacity as PM when situation calls for it regardless of personal relations. Personal issues should be left to be resolved privately and NOT in parliament. Obviously we are all dragged into their drama for whatever reasons. This nonsensical drama must end. “
- Frank Young wrote, “Although i support the PAP, LTK makes a valid case. There cannot be an immunity card for blood relatives. The PM needs to treat everyone equally!”
- Ken Cheong wrote, “It is no standard. Not double standard. If he sue and he lose. Than what he going to do? LKY is no longer around to back LHL anymore.”
- Christopher Chew wrote, “Agree with Low. Double standard for PM. Oh! Family members, no problem. Oh! Outsiders, must sue.”
- Shi Huang Ti wrote, “A good emperor will execute his own children for breaking the law because, no one is above it.”
- Daniel Lim wrote, “He may not articulate well. but he is raising a valid point. No doubts blood is thicker than water, but is blood thicker than the governing laws?”
- Juliana Karem Lim wrote, “Haha. It is already double standard law systems. MUST Remove the 5 STARS n Change the PLEDGE. They are Destroying the strict laws set by LKY.”
- William Sam wrote, “Since some pro-PAP guys claim it is national interest before family interests that makes the PM to consider not to demolish LKY’s house then using the same logic, he should put national interests above family ones to sue his siblings to show the whole world that Singapore is not a country where one can anyhow talk as long as one is family with the PM.”
Wrong to attack Worker’s Party MPs for their questions on the conduct of the debate
- Alvin Peh wrote, “For those who says WP are opportunist. Why not you let me slap you in the face, you can smile at me and like it. Because, if WP wouldn’t speak up, who would? Not only will people who voted for WP loses trust, but also their dignity humiliated so many times by the PAP’s half truths. For the record PAP is the largest opportunist. All sorts of hikes when economy is bad while their best performance thus far is to raise fares to solve problems that never ever got solved and whole cabinet activated to mud sling WP every elections. And now even own father and their so called respected senior house also want to karpo. Pot calling kettle black indeed. If WP is opportunist, they are only returning the favor.”
- Kohlengmeng Vince wrote, “Like what Mr Low had said, Mr Lee is the Prime Minister of Singapore. Regardless whether if it was his siblings who made that allegations or not, an allegation has been made accusing the top echelon of our government of abusing power. He must sue in order to restore back his reputation and clear up the airs that he is clean and proper. This is not about whether is his siblings who are accusing him or not but it is about preserving the integrity of our key leaders and restoring our confidence in him as the Prime Minister that is leading our country forward.”
- Donald Tan wrote, “If Goh Chok Tong want the Workers Party to state their stand, they should invite Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling to defend themselves.”
- Shi Huang Thi wrote, “That’s the problem when you have a one ruling party. They can do anything and say anything they want. The day you are told that your blood and sweat money in the CPF no longer belongs to you and you are not allow to draw out for retirement. All they did is to have such discussion in Parliament and they pass on to the white paper, you citizen will be lun lun. Learn from this incident people.”
- David Caleb wrote, “Finally, I see some fire in the belly from Mr Low, good job but you need to maintain your criticism and not side track and your party members should also follow up the point and not side track with other issues like forming a select Committee.”
- Darren Tan wrote, “Well said, Mr Low! How does ESM Goh expect the WP to take a stand on this when they’re an outsider to the whole issue without knowledge of the full facts?! Perhaps ESM Goh is the one being biased here. Now that he is not willing to sue his siblings due to accusations against the Government, Is PM Lee now unable to draw a clear line between work and private affairs??”
Speaker of Parliament taking sides
- Benson Tan wrote, “Even the Speaker of Parliament is taking sides. Now I know why LHL prefers this forum.”
- Lim May wrote, “Clear abuse of power in parliament! Even more so after gch spoke. More damage done.”
- Anu Banu wrote, “Exactly. I agree with LTK. And why is the speaker not allowing him time to speak? We heard all the PAP MPs talking s*** so long. This is their idea of asking the opposition to grill vigorously?”
- Han Cheak Heng wrote, “Halimah is annoying always interrupting the WP MPs.”