Parliament has convened today, in part to hear Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong address the allegations of abuse of power leveled against him by his siblings. Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, is also slated to speak on the Ministerial Committee on 38 Oxley Road that he chairs.
Despite lifting the party whip and despite Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob urging all Members of Parliament (MPs) to examine the matter thoroughly and engage in robust debate, it appears that MPs from the ruling party have not filed questions to pose to their party head on the matter.
The Order Paper for today’s session shows that 6 questions from a total of 124 that were filed to be raised in Parliament today are posed to the Prime Minister regarding the family feud he has been embroiled in. All six questions come from MPs from the Workers’ Party.
Workers’ Party MPs are set to grill PM on the following this afternoon:
Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what rules are in place to ensure that Ministers and senior officeholders with personal or pecuniary interests in the subject matter of Government decisions do not influence or participate in the related deliberations and decision-making and how are the rules enforced; (b) in respect of Government opinions or decisions relating to the estate and assets of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, what conflicts or potential conflicts of interest did the Government identify to exist from among the members of the Cabinet and with regard to the Attorney-General; and (c) how are these conflicts or potential conflicts of interest managed.
Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Prime Minister (a) under what circumstances are Ministerial committees whose existence is not made public are convened to address issues; (b) how many of such committees currently exist and whether their terms of reference and composition can be publicly announced unless forbidden by national security concerns; and (c) in respect of Ministerial committee reviewing the fate of No 38 Oxley Road, whether independent heritage experts and processes for public opinion sensing will be engaged by the committee.
Mr Chen Show Mao: To ask the Prime Minister what mechanisms are in place to prevent, limit, detect, and address situations where Ministers or political appointees use state organs to obtain information not related to the performance of their duties, advance personal interests or punish detractors, critics, or political opponents.
Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Prime Minister in view of public concerns over allegations of abuse of power over the matter of 38 Oxley Road, whether he supports a motion to set up a special Select Committee of Parliament, comprising Members from all parties, to receive relevant evidence and with public hearings that are broadcast live.
Mr Png Eng Huat: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what rules and directives are in place to prevent Ministers and political appointees from abusing their positions by allowing or condoning their family members to access, influence and direct senior civil servants on matters beyond their professional course of work; (b) how often are these rules and directives communicated to Ministers, political appointees and senior civil servants and in what form; and (c) how will such cases be treated when abuse of position and power is proven.
UPDATE: 16 PAP MPs, 5 WP MPs and 6 NMPs spoke on the issue in parliament. An earlier version of this article indicated that it appears that MPs from the ruling party have declined to question their party head on the dispute. We update this post to clarify that it appears that MPs from the PAP have declined to file questions prior to the session, as accurately reflected in the parliamentary session’s order paper.
PAP MP Louis Ng said that by not disclosing the questions prior to the parliamentary session, the debate is real and not staged.
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