Parliament is set to reopen in July for more governing while the speculation on the ground is that the next general election will happen this September. So with that in mind, we think it’s time to take stock of the performance of Singapore’s Members of Parliament.
Specifically, we’re looking at just attendance first. Based on records from Parliament, seven MPs have attended every single sitting in Parliament since 2016. PM Lee Hsien Loong, Christopher De Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC), Louis Ng Kok Kwang (Nee Soon GRC), Denise Phua Lay Peng (Jalan Besar GRC), Patrick Tay Teck Guan (West Coast GRC), Melvin Yong Yik Chye (Tanjong Pagar GRC), and Dennis Tan (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) – attended every one of the 105 sessions of Parliament so far.
But as mentioned by TOC in the past, attendance can be marked just by the appearance of 5 mins for the entire day just as how the Parliament marked former Prime Minister and MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Lee Kuan Yew as being present for just appearing five mins each session.
On the other hand, the MPs who clocked in the lowest attendance records were Minister of Communications and Information S Iswaran (87), Minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam (86), Senior Minister of State at Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman (86).
MP of Bukit Batok SMC Murali Pillai (85) and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat (84) are among the lowest but they have reasons for the relatively low attendance as Mr Pillai took office only in 2016 and Mr Heng suffered a stroke in 2016.
President Halimah Yacob clocked in at 49 sessions since 2016 right up to the point she resigned as MP and member of PAP to stand in the Presidential election which she won in a walkover as no other presidential candidate was issued the Certificate of Eligibility.
Other low attendances overall include PAP MP David Ong Kim Huat from Bukit Batok SMC who attended 5 sessions before his resignation in March 2016 as well as the 9 Nominated Members of Parliament who were selected in 2018. Douglas Foo and Yip Pin Xiu attended 20 sessions while the rest attended 23.
Under the Singapore Constitution, a Member of Parliament will be stripped of his or her seat if the MP is absent from the sittings of the Parliament for 2 consecutive months without prior permission sought from the Speaker of Parliament.