Prospective Speaker of Parliament could be MP who skipped 60% of parliamentary sittings

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Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, Seah Kian Peng, may be the next Speaker of Parliament, since Halimah Yacob has vacated her position this Monday to contest the upcoming reserved presidential election.

Seah, who served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament for 5 years until last January, has been absent for 6 out of 10 parliamentary sittings in 2017.

The MP who has been in public office since 2006 is also the CEO of NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd, having overseen the organisation from April 2010.

Other potential nominees for the position include former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Indranee Rajah who serves as Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, and incumbent Deputy Speakers Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan and Punggol East MP Charles Chong.

Chong has been appointed acting Speaker of Parliament until Parliament convenes again to select Halimah’s successor. He also served as acting Speaker when Michael Palmer resigned from the position in 2012 after his extra-marital affair became public, before Halimah was elected to the role.

Lianhe Zaobao ran a report recently where an SMU associate professor said that the next Speaker could be an “unexpected candidate.” The professor suggested that Holland-Bukit Timah MP Christopher de Souza, Sembawang MP Vikram Nair and Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai could be nominated to the position.

Meanwhile, here is a handy list on which MPs have skipped parliamentary sittings this year, according to Parliament’s website:

Absent for 6 out of 10 sessions

• Mohamad Maliki bin Osman (East Coast)
• Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade)
• Teo Chee Hean (Pasir Ris-Punggol)
• Vivian Balakrishnan (Holland-Bukit Timah)

Absent for 5 out of 10 sessions

• Azmoon Ahmad (Nominated Member)
• Ng Eng Hen (Bishan-Toa Payoh)

Absent for 4 out of 10 sessions

• Fatimah Lateef (Marine Parade)
• K Shanmugam (Nee Soon)
• Mahdev Mohan (Nominated Member)

Absent for 3 out of 10 sessions

• Josephine Teo (Bishan-Toa Payoh)
• Lim Hng Kiang (West Coast)
• Sim Ann (Holland-Bukit Timah)
• Sylvia Lim (Aljunied)

Absent for 2 out of 10 sessions

• Amrin Amin (Sembawang)
• Amy Khor Lean Suan (Hong Kah North)
• Chia Shi-Lu (Tanjong Pagar)
• Ganesh Rajaram (Nominated Member)
• S Iswaran (West Coast)
• Kok Heng Leun (Nominated Member)
• Lee Yi Shyan (East Coast)
• Lily Neo (Jalan Besar)
• Ong Teng Koon (Marsiling-Yew Tee)
• Rahayu Mahzam (Jurong)
• Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol)
• Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang)

Absent for 1 out of 10 sessions

• Cheng Li Hui (Tampines)
• Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh)
• Desmond Lee (Jurong)
• Heng Swee Keat (Tampines)
• Jessica Tan Soon Neo (East Coast)
• Koh Poh Koon (Ang Mo Kio)
• Kuik Shiao-Yin (Nominated Member)
• Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang)
• Randolph Tan (Nominated Member)
• Tan Chuan-Jin (Marine Parade)
• Teo Ser Luck (Pasir Ris-Punggol)
• Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Jurong)
• Yaacob Ibrahim (Jalan Besar)
• Yee Chia Hsig (Chua Chu Kang)

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57 comments

  1. Low Jasper says:

    If he will be the next speaker, my personal opinion is likely they have buddy system which they take care everyone there irregardless his/her performance/productivity

    CAN I APPLY?

  2. Seah Kian Peng will NOT be a good Speaker of Parliament. His performance at NTUC Fairprice is fair only to date as he’s given the job on a silver platter with no prior commercial experience at all. As a social enterprise, Fairprice hasn’t given much to members esp in such bad economic times. Indranee & Charles will make better ones. If he stands for election in my constituency, he’ll b gone for sure & he’s fortunate that he’s under GCT. Never hear him speak in Parliament but if he does, doesn’t speak with conviction. Getting to pay him $16k is waste of taxpayers $$.

    1. If his passion is to sell NTUC housebrand cooking oil and toilet paper, instead of being Speaker and MP, then it is better to let him focus on his NTUC role and identify other candidates who can be a full time Speaker like Halimah.

  3. parliament house is too boring, either they absent or slumber into sleep mode!
    Let us make the parliament debates exciting by sending in Dr Chee Soon Juan, Dr Lee Wei Ling, Lee Hsien Yang and Sheng Wu
    Our National Day program is boring too as I prefer to watch the Korean drama but no choice, it is about national pledge that made the angels angry as they did not pay what they vow, especially this coming elections
    Instead of in happy mood, I shall say we are sad to see the retirement funds of our poor senior citizens been robbed and I saw two Chinese women searching the dustbins for aluminum cans in Marsiling
    Are we able to rejoice when our senior citizens are starved and deprived of justice and equality ???

    1. If his passion is to sell NTUC housebrand cooking oil and toilet paper, instead of being Speaker and MP, then it is better to let him focus on his NTUC role and identify other candidates who can be a full time Speaker like Halimah.

  4. Not only him, look around how many MPs walk the ground?? Expect them to come around and shake hand. Fuck you lol. We do not vote you to shake their hand. I believe PM claim that he instruct more PAP go down to the ground and ubderstand the people. Well we know his voice till now is useless.

  5. Lee Beniot says:

    so can i tell my boss that i can skip 60% of my working days but still get paid for the month? of course not! i will be fired from my job.
    if u can expect such bo chap and lack luster performing MPs that pontang every sitting, u better fire him asap!

  6. NC Tay says:

    Aiya…even if pap wants to put a rubber duckies as the speaker we also LL de la. They will change the constitution to make sure of it.

  7. It is our government’s say. You and I have no say. If the government say you are a Malay, even though your father is an Indian, you are a Malay. So, the government can say he has 100% attendance even though he only attended 6 out of 10 sitting. So? So what??

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