The Straits Times (ST) today reported that the Leader of the House, Grace Fu, had sought the Attorney-General Chambers’ (AGC) advice before asking Sylvia Lim to retract her statement and apologise last Tuesday.
A certain news site has however interpreted ST’s report to suggest that the “PAP government (is seeking) legal avenue against Sylvia Lim after (she failed) to apologise in ‘Test Balloons’ saga.”
Lim had said earlier that the Government had floated “trial balloons” on a possible tax hike but possibly backed down after the public noted Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s comments in 2015 that the Government has enough revenue for the next decade.
Defending her remarks as “honest suspicion,” the Aljunied GRC MP refused to apologise for her comments despite pressure from prominent PAP politicians, Law Minister K Shanmugam, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, and MCYS Minister Grace Fu.
A “disappointed” Fu put Lim on notice for failing to apologise. She added that Lim’s behaviour is indicative of the low standards of “the member and her party,” and said that her actions are “deplorable”.
Fu’s spokesperson in speaking to ST confirmed that she had consulted with AGC before asking Lim to retract on Tuesday. She however decline to say what advice the AGC gave.
Fu on Thursday cautioned Lim that she would refer the matter to Committee of Privileges if Lim repeated such “dishonest conduct”. The Committee is empowered to mete out punishments from scoldings to jail terms not extending beyond the current Parliament session. The Committee however cannot remove anyone as an MP.