Sunday, 24 September 2023

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Lim Tean urges PM Lee to call for election as more PAP scandals unfold

SINGAPORE — On Monday (17 Jul), Singapore’s political landscape was shocked by the resignations of Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and Member of Parliament (MP) Cheng Li Hui from both Parliament and the People’s Action Party (PAP) due to their inappropriate relationship.

In response to media inquiries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed that he became aware of Mr Tan and Ms Cheng’s relationship after the last general election in 2020.

As Mr Tan resigned, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan will serve as the Acting Speaker. Prime Minister Lee stated his intention to propose a new Speaker and deliver a ministerial statement during the upcoming parliament session on 1 August.

During a press conference on Monday, when asked if the number of vacant seats in parliament would affect the timing of the next General Election (GE), PM Lee said he has no plans to call an immediate election.

PM Lee: no plan to call an immediate GE

“I have no plan to call an immediate General Election, ” he told members of the press.

“General Election is due by 2025. We just (enter) the second half of the present government’s term, we’ve just opened Parliament recently, we have a full agenda for this term, we are working at it, and that’s what we will focus on.”

He further emphasized that in the GRC (Group Representation Constituencies) where there’s an MP missing, the other MPs of the GRC will step up and ensure that the constituents are well looked after. He highlighted the advantages of having the GRC system.

Lim Tean advises PM Lee on “the right thing to do” amid his party embroiled in a series of scandals

However, Lim Tean, leader of the People’s Voice party, took to social media to highlight that the Singapore ruling party, PAP, is now embroiled in a series of scandals, and when a party reaches this state, it is no longer fit to govern.

Hence, Lim Tean suggests that the country should not be distracted by the PAP’s scandals, and the right thing for PM Lee to do would be to dissolve parliament and call for an election, letting the country decide the will of the people.

In a video recorded on Monday, Mr Lim criticised the recent development demonstrating a “serious lack of judgment” on the part of PM Lee.

He highlighted that PM Lee apparently knew about this affair as far back as after GE2020, yet he took no steps to dismiss both MPs in question, despite the fact that they had breached what has always been recognized as an “inviolable standard” of the PAP.

Lim Tean argued that this lack of action is unjustifiable, especially considering that Mr Tan was not only an MP but also the Speaker of Parliament.

“The Speaker of Parliament must exercise absolute impartiality. We expect that of him. But when the Speaker is carrying on a relationship with a PAP MPs, That is not possible.”

“Straight away there would be questions about his perceived bias, and did we not see that most recently?”

Lim Tean cited previous incidents, like improper remarks using foul language to describe another MP, Jamus Lim, which further displayed biases.

“During which time many people complained about the apparent bias of Tan Chuan-Jin in handling parliamentary business. How he was always shutting down the opposition and never doing anything about the PAP MPs.”

“And today, finally, we have knowledge of some foundation for these allegations.”

Lim Tean: “serious lack of judgment on the part of Lee Hsien Loong”

Lim Tean perceives these recent developments as a significant lapse in judgment on the part of Lee Hsien Loong, who is now at the helm of a government mired in one scandal after another.

He pointedly recalled incidents like the Ridout Road saga and Minister Iswaran’s arrest, while highlighting Tan Chuan Jin’s improper remarks as yet another alarming example.

“Almost every week now, we are treated to some scandal emanating from the PAP. ”

“When a party reaches this state. It is no longer fit to govern, ” Lim Tean asserted that the country should not be distracted by these scandals, and insisted that the right course of action for PM Lee is to immediately call for general election.

However, regardless how immediate the need is for an election for a fresh mandate for the PAP government, the presidential election must be first held before 13 September this year as Madam Halimah Yacob’s six-year term expires then.


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