Yesterday (9 Mar), Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah made a renewed attack on her Facebook page against Ms Sylvia Lim with a post titled, 'GST Hike: An Honourable Course of Conduct or not?'.
"Ms Lim admitted that her suspicion may not have been correct," Indranee wrote. "Yet Ms Lim refused to withdraw her allegation or to apologise."
She then went on to piece together the events after Ms Lim spoke last week, for readers to see.
"Both Minister Shan and Minister Heng had stood up immediately to point out that the record disproved her suspicion, and invited her to withdraw her comment," Indranee continued.
"Ms Lim claimed she didn’t have the facts at hand, and promised to go back and check. Minister Heng issued a statement the very next day (Friday) reciting the facts, and invited her to withdraw and apologise."
She also put up a FB post on Monday setting out the government’s successive statements over a five year period, which were all consistently about having enough revenues until 2020, but needing more revenues beyond 2020.
"On Tuesday Ms Fu, as Leader of the House, reiterated the facts and invited a withdrawal and apology." wrote Indranee.
"Ms Lim may originally have been under a mistaken impression. Fair enough. But after the facts have been made clear by four ministers, after it had been shown that her suspicion was wrong, after she herself admitted that she may have been wrong, and after her own leader Mr Low said it is clear now the Government had no intention to raise GST immediately, shouldn’t she have withdrawn the allegation and apologised?" she asked.
"Yet Ms Lim did neither. That is why the Leader of the House said this was not the honourable conduct expected of MPs," Indranee concluded.
Out of the hundreds of comments that appeared on Ms Indranee's Facebook post, almost all criticised the repeated call for Ms Lim to apologise and asked her to just move on.
Suresh Kumar wrote, "Ms Indranee Rajah, pls move on...Ms Slyvia spoke up for the people and she should be given full credit. I don't see why all the big fuss. Btw, with bits and pieces of parliament highlights, public don't get the full picture. Why don't you suggest the entire parliamentary meetings henceforth be aired live on TV for people to judge for themselves. This is long overdue."
Jacq Chong wrote, "Please, reply and don't avoid Sylvia Lim's question: is PAP having double standard on when a MP should clear his doubts in parliament? One standard on GST increase and one standard on LHL's 38 Oxley issue?"
Idris Bin Sadli wrote, "Did PAP MP Louis Ng apologise and withdraw his statements when he claimed civil servants are a timid bunch who are afraid to voice out against their superiors?"
Chong Win wrote, "Sylvia Lim doesn't answer to you or your party. As for whether she has standards or not, also not up to you to judge. We can see for ourselves who has standards and who doesn't. You should have said something yesterday because gracefool made a fool of her selves by just reading off her script. Maybe you can do better. 4 against 1 still cannot make it."
Joey Yeo wrote, "She provided a basis for her suspicion, and that basis seems to be rather legit. I don't think she needs to be apologetic over raising the suspicion. Moreover, the Government has already stated its position and the public can decide who to believe in.
Adding one more point: Is there anything wrong with the Gov doing trial balloons? Is there anything wrong with the Gov indicating that initially there will be sufficient money to tide through to the decade but due to changing context, it needs to raise taxes in 2018? Is there anything wrong with the thinking of changing the position due to public pressures? I don't see any issue with all these possible scenarios which could have be part of the cabinet secretive discussions."
Lewis Loh wrote, "Its over. Just move on, like you all always have said. Don't always vie for the last say. Focus on why the general public sentiment is so negative on this demand for apology.
Sylvia is an elected member of Parliament and IS doing her job. Nothing wrong with it."
Joe Tey wrote, "Great. Now please hound Charles Chong to apologise since you guys are so honorable."
John Smith wrote, "2 lawyers, 1 potential future PM and Grace Fu couldn't give a convincing answer or clarification to the opposition's claim of alleged double standards?"
Ron Hon wrote, "We wanna question the incumbent the following:
1. Overspending budget
3.Terminals expansion benefits
4.Cables tunnel benefits
5.Timeline to completion of services of MRT breakdown
6.Economy growth plan
7.Healthcare and retirement plan for the elderly
Please, feel free to add on, instead I and many people are sickening of the minister keep on harping over the apology demand. If you really need the sorry so badly, I said sorry on behalf of Sylvia, you happy? Sorry, sorry, and sorry. You happy ministers? The commoner is suffering and yet you all here demand for sorry. What kind of parliament standard have you all set? A total bunch of bullies keep on harping over a sorry? Really piss."
Isaac Juehao wrote, 'I'm just curious. Why are you bringing this argument outside of the parliament and onto Facebook? There will be a committee looking into it, are we wrong? Does it require 1000000 citizens to voice exactly the same thoughts to MPs at the MPS, recording it down, and get newspapers to report on it, before it is recognised as a common thought in the community?
What I'm concerned with, is why are you harping on issues on social media after a case has reached a period."
Ho Victor wrote, "And what is the purpose for putting up this long post? To state the "facts" because your colleague, while in parliament, did not state them enough/correctly/not good enough for you? Then go educate them privately and not make a fool of them here in public!"
Gayathri wrote, 'She believed she had a strong basis to lay down the suspicion and thus did not feel an apology was warranted and said it multiple times. Now move on, I believe there are more important things to discuss. This is getting too petty and embarrassing, tbh."
Terence Foong wrote, "PM Lee said, “If MPs believe that something is wrong, it’s MPs’ job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong. And if you think something is wrong, even if you’re not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers.”
I didn't realise, after getting answers, one has to apologise.
Think and say fly test balloons, must say sorry? Go fly kite lah."
Gamo Ticon wrote, "The more you and your colleagues harp on this apology issue, the more the citizens is pissed off, a lot of us are struggling making ends meet and the new 9% GST is going to make life much tougher than it already is, when there are more pressing issues like high costs of living etc. Easy for you guys because you guys earn about $100,000 per month with 5.5 months annual bonus with retirement pension, of course got so much time to time this bullshit and drag it for weeks, whereas the citizens is working day and night for a meagre salary because we being suck left and right."
KH Lee wrote, "Madam, please move on and not harp on this topic anymore. The more you write the more we Singaporeans are pissed off. GST of 9% despite having so much surplus is too much a bitter pill to swallow and do not expect a sane citizen to support you and your colleagues! Move on and you know MRT breaks down again!"
Fakhruddien Raffie wrote, "Can you all stop it and focus on the real job at hand? Bickering and attacking opposition parties when they debate and asked questions. Like that no need opposition if they cant question your decisions and resort to attacking them.
Do your job and let them do theirs."
Richard Goh wrote, "I watch the debate several times. I find it battling that Sylvia Lim asked a valid question and Grace Fu choose to attack her instead. Grace Fu never answer to Sylvia Lim question, perhaps it is not in her script and she dunno how to response? Sylvia Lim came with explanation and Grace Fu came unprepared, shocked and resort to attack. For this debate, my vote goes to Sylvia Lim!"
Sean Lim wrote, "Whether who is right or wrong, this should have been settled ytd. Ms Indranee should have contributed her two cents worth yesterday in chambers. Now that the unhappy debate has closed, why would you want to bring it up and stir again?!"
Lim Kay Huan Richard wrote, "This is another one that regurgitate and judge others.
Just look at her performance so far! Are you impressed?"
Raymond Ng wrote, "I am missing something surely. Why does anyone need any facts for suspicion? Suspicion leads to questions, clarification and conclusion. Are we regressing? Just answer her questions as what I expect you to do. As a taxpayer, this is what I expect you to do as your salary is paid for by my tax."
M Yazid wrote, "This is getting really petty. Can we move on please. Singaporeans wasn’t even asking for WP’s apology. Why are these PAPs so hard-up for an apology? Simply to attack their opponent’s character? Focus on the core issues please. Enough regurgitating the same thing over and over again."
Harry Kok wrote, "Come on. Move on, please. I believe any normal human being will suspect anything when not given full details of any major plan. Don’t be ultra sensitive when people just do not agree with your prospective. This is suppose to be democratic society. Please, move on!"
Maggie Chia wrote, "They should learn how to let go and move on to more important topic like cost of living for the citizens and aging population solutions."
Steven Tan wrote, "Needed so many to bully just one Sylvia Lim. That just show how incompetent they really are! If it were the reverse, I guess the PAP MP will be crying! Good on you Ms Sylvia Lim!"
Kumar Nathanael Elijah wrote, "Nothing was "shown". The PAP rebuttals were basically - "no we did not intend to do this". And Sylvia Lim has acknowledged that we only have their words to take for it. She correctly represented her constituents and accurately portrayed our suspicions and consequently our feelings on this matter after the rebuttals by the PAP cohort.
What is not honourable is to accuse someone of making allegations when they didn't and make a brouhaha about it just to paint an illusion that the WP MPs are "not honourable".
It was an honest sentiment. Move on."
Stanley Wong wrote, "What's the point of debating when they can't take the questioning from the opposition? Might as well close it down. Waste of tax payer money."
Danny Chin wrote, "Wah lau! still talking about it! Can the MPs and ministers please debate more on how to help the needy and those physical challenged? Not keep attacking an individual over what she said which echoes the voice of the people. Please kindly move on to something else that are more important. One family house to tear down or not also debate, one MP voice her views, doubts and suspicions that is not in agreement also want to debate. But I like it! Debate is good but keep it civil and restrict it on more constructive matters."
Mark Lim wrote, "If Sylvia Lim is to apologise then I think some of the let down minister should resign with immediate effect for the following items:
1) Mas Selamat escape.
2) Overspending of YOG.
3) MRT constantly breakdown.
4) expensive rubbish collection point."
Marwana Suleiman wrote, "Go and debate the actual topic - GST Hike instead of diverting Singaporeans attention."
Vimalan Sivasubramaniam wrote, "Resorting to Facebook to protect her incompetent incoherent colleagues. Why bother with parliamentary debates?"
Jay Lam wrote, "Indranee Rajah is a clueless bimbo clown. What makes her think she can come up with any valid point if all the other 3 clown ministers, namely Snake Oil Man, Dis-GraceFu and ET Freak HSK, can’t throughout Thursday’s final round of debate? The result was clear and final : Sylvia -1, Clown Ministers -0. Suck it up already!"
Jonathan Sim wrote, "Instead of defending against the allegation, you guys went to attack the WP for asking the question. How pathetic and petty has the PAP become?! Super disgraceful bunch of people!"
Stanley Tan wrote, "Can the PAP folks just stop dragging this rubbish? It's overdone, esp when there are more pressing issues at hand. Seriously pathetic, and speaks volumes of the calibre of these MPs"
Harry Yohannan wrote,
"Errrrrr ... I thought the PM told the House that if any MPs feels that something is wrong and even if not sure, the MPs should go to Parliament and confront the government for answers?
Quoted from PM’s speech during the Oxley Road saga debate,
"If MPs believe something is wrong, it is MPs' job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong. And if you think something is wrong, even if you are not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers."
Errrr… Clearly there are double standards here.
Errr… We, the commoners, are not stupid We know what is right and wrong. And what Sylvia Lim did was right – to speak out for us, the commoners. It is the job of the MPs to bring out the views, feedback, angst, frustrations, difficulties, issues, etc, in Parliament … Including checks and balances on the government, including things of suspicion! The MPs must play the role to question and seek answers from the government, on behalf of the citizens to ensure that there is accountability! For the PAP to behave like thugs against Sylvia Lim or any other MPs for doing his/her job is totally unacceptable at all!"