Apologise for speaking in Parliament?

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By Leong Sze Hian

Why waste time on apologies for debates in Parliament – focus on working for Singaporeans?

I refer to the article “Grace Fu asks Leon Perera to apologise for ‘false allegations’” (Straits Times, Jan 4).

It states that “Leader of the House Grace Fu yesterday wrote to Workers’ Party Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera, asking that he withdraw his “false allegations” that Mediacorp had deliberately edited parliamentary footage of a debate on changes to the elected presidency.

She also called on Mr Perera to apologise at the parliamentary sitting next Monday for misrepresenting the facts and misleading Parliament during an earlier sitting on Nov 7 last year.”

MP wrote to newspaper to apologise?

Since we are on the subject of MPs apologising for what they said in Parliament – let’s look back in history at what are arguably – the most famous, if not the silliest MPs’ apologies.

MP for Tampines GRC, Sin Boon Ann, wrote to the Straits Times forum on 3 October, 2007 – “MP now convinced CPF funds don’t come cheap” (link) and said that:

“… it was reported that I used the word ‘cheap’ to describe CPF monies as a source of funds for the Government, in the debate in Parliament on CPF reforms.

I wish to clarify that my choice of the word was motivated by a comparison between the cost of CPF monies to the Government and the returns that the Government is able to get in the longer term through careful fund management…

I should emphasise that the word was not chosen, as some may have suggested, to imply that the Government was making money at the people’s expense.

I am glad to note that your newspaper had accurately reported my remark that any income derived from such investments has been applied for the benefit of the people of Singapore.

Having considered carefully the explanation of the Second Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, I am now satisfied and have come to the conclusion that the CPF monies, with risk-free interest guaranteed, do not represent a cheap source of funds to the Government, particularly now that the interest rate on the CPF balances has been pushed higher by the recent changes.”

MP said in Parliament – why CPF returns so low?

In this connection, another MP’s (Ong Kian Min) speech in the Parliamentary debate on CPF changes, was the “talk of the town” amongst Singaporeans.

He had made a strong rebuttal to the proposed CPF changes, particularly on the issue of why the returns on CPF are so low.

Another MP wrote to newspaper to apologise?

On 27 September, 2007 – Mr Ong wrote to the Straits Times forum, to clarify the remarks he had made in Parliament.

From rarely refreshing speeches from the heart for the people by the MPs, to the (27 September, 2007) “apology like” letters in the Straits Times by the same MPs themselves – is it any wonder why some Singaporeans say that Parliamentary debate in Singapore is kind of docile, and not very lively?

Self rebuttals of MPs own remarks in Parliament?

The letters sounded almost like “self rebuttals” of the MPs’ own remarks in Parliament!

Unprecedented in Parliamentary history?

This I believe is unprecedented in Parliamentary history.

Just when we thought a new era of more open debate had arrived …. alas …..

Speaking up in Parliament?

It may indeed have been a sad day for Singapore – who else will ever dare to speak up in the future?

What message are we sending to MPs and Singaporeans?

What kind of leaders are we grooming?

With reference to the articles “PAP wary of those too eager to please” and “In search of 4th-generation leaders” (ST, Oct 6), what kind of leaders are we grooming when they have to write to the Straits Times forum to clarify their own rebuttals in Parliament in debating national issues?

The whip?

The fact that the whip is seldom lifted, may be a stumbling block to diversity and alternative view points in Parliamentary sessions.

As for the issue of CPF changes itself, since it has been said that the CPF system is flawed, and that’s why there is a need for a major reform of the CPF system now, how can we be so sure that the proposals to fix the “flaw” were or are perfect (in Parliamentary debates)?

For arguments’ sake – if the past policies were not perfect (flawed), how can we be sure that the new policies are perfect (not flawed too) ?

Free and unfettered debate in Parliament?

Only a free and unfettered debate in Parliament can ensure that policies are subject to comprehensive and diverse review, on a continuing basis.

By the way – why not telecast Parliamentary debates live, so that arguably – Ministers and MPs don’t have to waste their time to ask for or give apologies, or worry about what they say in the heat and bustle of Parliamentary debates.

 

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103 comments

  1. If Grace Fu is of the serious opinion that the speech is deliberately slanderous, she should challenge Mr Perera to repeat his damning remark outside Parliament – and get Medicorp to sue him. Ms Fu must not forget that Parliament is a place where free speech and fact revealing debates are carried out – not just a convenient conduit where politicians take to, to express remorse, clear names and stamping their abusive dominance. I see Ms Fu’s request for Mr Pereera to apologize, an abuse of her position as Leader of House to deter freedom of expression and suppression of healthy debates in Parliament.

  2. Ace Chew says:

    so superior that everyone needs to apologize to them!!! they should be the ones saying sorry to the whole of singapore for making our lives so difficult by raising cost and providing sub standard services or no service at all yet taking obscene salary paid for by singaporeans!! apologise?!! if not then sue?!! the more they sue citizens the more guilty they look. wake up lah, 70% wake up!!!

    1. You go oversea travel with family then over spend what you can manage then start to blame others??

      Then run out of money ask for more welfare?

      Spend within your means lah.

      As if our opppsition takes over,everyone can stay condo or landed and drives a ferrari……
      Duiiiii

  3. For transparency and integrity, please show parliament debate on air without any censorship and let Singaporeans be the judge!
    It is power abuse to demand for apologies when nobody knows the truth!
    Wilk Grace Fool throw her shoes on Leon if he refused to apologise?
    In any debates, the debater has every right to say what he or she think is right, no reason to apologise!
    Please respect the rules in debates!

  4. And if Leon Perera do not want to apologise then what? Gang up, sue him until pants drop? After all, support in Parluament from Brothers and Sisters so strong right?

  5. Someone in Government does not understand what Parliamentary Privilege is! To help … here is the definition … Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties.

    1. But the Party assert that only the Party should have privilege, since only the Party is legitimate.

      Vote. Them. Out. And get twenty others to do the same, and get each of them to get twenty others to do the same, and so on. The next General sElection isn’t far away. We need to organise, not just type at each other.

  6. WH Wong says:

    After gold plated a refuse dump, the disgraced fool is now trying to erect an apologetic temple to achieve a golden silence. What else could the whitish cult think of where it has turned this highest house of the land into a papleementary circus filled with a majority of clowns!

  7. Hey Grace Fu, if u also can’t make broadcast live for parliamentary debate, u better keep your mouth shut. We all want to see the live broadcast!!! Not people apologising to people. U can go seek apologise all u want with other people. We not interested

  8. Warren Hua says:

    Just grand standing to position herself for the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. Regardless how stupid she looks in the eyes of the public opinion, she clearly knows how important it is to demonstrate her loyalty to the king makers.

  9. A leader must lead by example not through intimidation, please don’t allow yourself to forget the responsibilities your position brings you. We respect the authority that is just and fair.

  10. Antony Lee says:

    Grace Fu is indeed very capable!!
    Why not Grace Fu be the CEO of TemaSick company, when the current one keep losing and losing monies……
    I support you Dis-graceful!

  11. Hailey Yew says:

    The integrity of MediaCorp has been in question basing on the fact that there is only one and only media in Singapore under the control of PAP. Thus, for Grace Fu still have the cheek to ask for apology- we are amazed we have such a superficial leader like her. How dis-Grace-ful!

  12. Did she say their MPs really represent All their constituencies views comments and objections to policies they intend to pass? I think we would like to hear them. Or will it be a very short and silent video?

  13. Victor Tan says:

    Pay these million dollars salary to waste public tax money in parliament to do these clown act, 850k dustbin shed, 6 million museum renovation, stop funding artists cos deemed against pappigs, sad to say still 69% blind wanted this CCB, maybe smell good to them

    1. People have pointed out a parallel story for this – the “call a deer a horse” political farce from the Qin dynasty. Live with this deer-horse of a president. Apology will turn her back into a deer.

    1. It’s certainly in their interests for us to believe that. In a parliamentary republic, the leaders are responsible to the citizens. In a dictatorship like North Korea or the Soviet Union, it’s the other way round.

      Ms Fu, have you ever read the Pledge? Do you even understand what it means?

  14. If Disgraceful get what she wanted next time she will demand apologize from opposition party how about her white colleges did she ask for apologies when they did wrong this is double standards.

  15. Lim LG says:

    KEPPEL BRIBERY SCANDAL
    ========================
    KEPPEL’S BIDDING PRICE WAS “TOO HIGH” THEREFORE UNABLE TO GET THE PROJECTS. READ BELOW ARTICLE

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156073215231383&id=14440041382

    WHICH MEANS THE “INITIAL COST” OF KEPPEL TO GET THE JOB DONE IS “VERY HIGH”.

    SO THRU BRIBERY THEN ABLE TO GET THE PROJECTS.

    I REMEMBERED LONG TIME AGO, SG PASIR GUDANG LOST OUT THE BIDDING TO MALAYSIA PORT BECOS SG COST IS HIGHER THAN MALAYSIA’S.

    SO, WHAT SO GREAT TO HV NO. 1 IN THIS AND THAT (HIGH COST IN MAINTENANCE AND SUSTAINING THE BIZ) BUT UNABLE TO BID WITH OTHER COMPETITORS TO GET THE PROJECTS?

    I REMEMBERED AT THAT TIME I QUESTIONED LKY. BECOS I DISAGREED WITH HIS LEGACY WHO ADVOCATED SG MUST BE GREAT TO HV NO. 1 IN THIS AND THAT!!

  16. Lim LG says:

    DURING GE2015 RALLY, (DIS)GRACEFUL MINISTER INTIMIDATED OPPO MEMBER LIKE CHEE SJ THAT WITHOUT WORKING FOR LONG TIME, THEREFORE, NO EXPERIENCE IN RUNNING A TOWN COUNCIL.

    I REBUKED HER THAT FIRST OF ALL, CHEE SJ WAS BEING ATTACKED AND FORCED TO BE OUT OF WORK BY ROTTON PAP.

    JUST LIKE ME, I WAS BEING FORCED TO BE UNEMPLOYED FOR TWO DECADES. DESPITE THE FACT, I WAS ABLE TO RESCUE THE ECONOMY WHEN ROTTON LEADER LHL HAD CRIPPLED IT. I WAS ALSO ABLE TO FIX TWO GLOBAL CRISIS BUT NOT THE ROTTON MIW, WHO HV BEEN WORKING AND HOLDING HIGH POSITION JOBS LIKE DISGRACEFUL MINISTER!!

    SECONDLY, THERE WERE SO MANY PAP SUPPORTERS ARE ALSO UNEMPLOYED FOR LONG TIME TOO DUE TO MANY OTHER REASONS SUCH AS CAREGIVERS, DISABLED, HOUSEHOLDERS, ETC

    SO THE DISGRACEFUL MINISTER WAS LITERALLY INTIMIDATING PAP SUPPORTERS AND LOOK DOWN ON THESE “UNEMPLOYED” PAP SUPPORTERS WHO COULDN’T HOLD ANY HIGH POSITION JOBS LIKE HER IF EVER ONE DAY THESE UNEMPLOYED PAP SUPPORTERS WANT TO GET BACK TO THE WORKFORCE.

    THE PAP SUPPORTERS ARE TRULY VERY STUPID TO GIVE THEIR SUPPORT TO SUCH ROTTON MIW, WHO IN TURN TURNAROUND TO LOOK DOWN AND INTIMIDATE THEIR SUPPORTERS LIKE THIS.

  17. Lim LG says:

    CHINESE DOCTOR, CHAO (RUNNING) BIAN (CHANGED. TO)
    XIANG (WEST, EU), COLLAPSED AND DIED DUE TO OVERWORK.

    SIMILARLY, JAPAN ALSO HAS MANY WORKERS COLLAPSED AND DIED FROM OVERWORK AND STRESS. RECENTLY THERE WAS A CASE.

    ROTTON PAP WANTS EU. THAT MEANS NO ROTTON PAP SINGAPORE, NO JAPAN AND NO EU.

    REMEMBER, SOUTH KOREAN K-POP STAR DIED OF STRESS AND PRESSURE TOO. I WISH TO THANK NORTH KOREA AND SOUTH KOREA FOR THEIR HELP AND SUPPORT RENDERED TO ME.

    NOTE
    =====

    USA AND PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORT SINGAPORE OPPOSITION
    PARTY/IES. I FAVOUR USA AND INDIA. AND I WIN. I BELONG TO OPPO PARTY.

    I STILL WANT TO GO TO USA.

    BUT ROTTON PAP SINGAPORE DOESN’T FAVOUR USA BUT FAVOURS EU. I DON’T SUPPORT ROTTON PAP AND EU.

    REMEMBER, TWO DAYS AGO, PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETED THAT “IRAN, THE DICTATORSHIP WILL COLLAPSE FAST” (I RECKON PRESIDENT TRUMP IS ALSO HINTING AT ROTTON PAP, ANOTHER DICTATOR)

    SO, SINGAPOREANS, IF YOU FAVOUR ME AND OPPO PARTY, CAN YOU PLS TRY TO CONSOLIDATE ALL OPPO PARTIES INTO “ONE BIG” OPPO PARTY, IF POSSIBLE, AND TO GET READY TO CHALLENGE ROTTON PAP IN THE NEXT GE.

    WE MUST WIN BY LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN ORDER TO SAVE SINGAPORE FROM SINKING UNDER THE ROTTON PAP RULING.

    BUT PLS BE REST ASSURED THAT IF OPPO PARTY WINS AND BECOMES THE RULING PARTY, WE’LL NOT FAVOUR ANY PARTICULAR COUNTRY/IES. INSTEAD, WE’LL WORK CLOSELY WITH ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TO BOLSTER A GOOD ECONOMY TO BENEFIT OUR COUNTRY OF SINGAPORE AND THE PEOPLE.

    PLEASE BE REMINDED I HV ALREADY PROVEN MANY OF LKY’S LEGACY WRONG, IF NOT, FLAWED POLICIES!!

    PLEASE BE REMINDED I’M A TRULY BORN AND BRED SINGAPOREAN. NOBODY, INCL ROTTON PAP GOVT, HAS THE RIGHT TO TELL ME WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO OR EVEN TO TELL ME TO GET MARRIED TO TIMOTHY GO, WHOM I HV NO INTEREST IN HIM AT ALL, FOR THEIR ADVANTAGE. I ALREADY SAID HE IS “NOT” THE RIGHT PARTNER FOR ME. I DON’T SUBJECT TO ANY MANIPULATIONS AT ALL.

    ========================================================
    I DON’T NEED ANY PARTNERS AT ALL.
    I’M SINGLE AND INDEPENDENT.
    ========================================================

    I HV A MIND OF MY OWN AND I CAN MAKE ANY DECISIONS ON MY OWN. AND HAPPINESS IS IN MY OWN HAND.

    OCCASIONALLY, MY SPIRITUAL TEACHERS WOULD GIVE ME THEIR ADVICES AND INDICATIONS. AND I OFTEN GET PERSONAL INDICATIONS FROM TIME TO TIME.

    FYI, SOMETHING PERSONAL I WISH TO REVEAL TO ALL OF YOU.
    AND THAT IS…..

    EVEN LKY HIMSELF HAD SUPPORTED ME AND HAD ACTUALLY INDICATED TO ME THAT I DON’T HV TO FOLLOW ROTTON PAP AT ALL. HE ALSO HAD HINTED TO ME THAT IT’S GOOD AND RIGHT TO FOLLOW MY SPIRITUAL TEACHERS’ ADVICES AND INDICATIONS TO WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS.

    UNLIKE ROTTON PAP, THEY MERELY WORK FOR THEIR OWN “SELFISH MEANS”.

    SO, I ALREADY HV THE BLESSINGS FROM LKY HIMSELF.

    WHY IS IT SO? I TRUST THAT LKY KNEW THAT THE COUNTRY OF SINGAPORE BELONGS TO ALL SINGAPOREANS!! IT DOESN’T BELONG TO ROTTON PAP ALONE AT ALL.

    TRUST WHAT I SAY! I’M SINCERE AND HONEST.

    ========================r==============================
    IN SHORT, I WANT TO GO TO USA FIRST.

    THEN COME BACK TO SINGAPORE TO CHALLENGE ROTTON PAP TO VOTE THEM OUT.

    I ONLY INTERESTED THAT OPPO WINS A LANDSLIDE VICTORY AND NOT INTERESTED TO JUST WIN ONLY FEW CONSTITUENCIES.

    IF NO LANDSLIDE VICTORY, THEN LET SG ROT TO THE END. AND I’LL MOVE OUT OF SG AND TO STAY PUT IN INDIA FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE TO HELP THE INDIAN GOVT TO DEVELOP INDIA. I CAN GIVE UP SG CITIZENSHIP TOO AND TO BECOME AN INDIAN CITIZEN.

    I DON’T WANT TO DIE WITH REGRETS. I TRULY WANT TO HELP INDIA IN ORDER TO REPAY THEIR KINDNESS ON BEHALF OF ALL MY SPIRITUAL TEACHERS AND TIBETAN COMMUNITY, ESP. SO TO BE ABLE TO RESTORE AND UPHOLD TRUE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA.

    THIS IS MY FINAL DECISION. TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN AS TWO DECADES OF MY PRECIOUS TIME HAD ALREADY BEEN WASTED BY ROTTON PEOPLE.

  18. Apologize smlj? That CBF 1/2 PRC git notting better to do urh? The white gang owe True blue SG’rean bcoz of this CBF 1/2PRC ! Y ? Want to sue LP until drop pant again urh ??? Is that the one and only resolve the white gang have ???? Nahbeh !

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