WP blocked once again from raising reserved election motion in parliament?

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UPDATE: Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan Jin has clarified that “nothing odd or out of the ordinary” occurred to bar the WP from speaking on their motion. He clarified that the two competing bids for PAP were not suddenly filed and that the ballot was conducted above board in a Facebook post after the WP reported the results of the ballot:

The Workers’ Party’s (WP) adjournment motion regarding the reserved presidential election has been “quashed” once again as Members of Parliament (MPs) vote to debate a motion on “preserving green space,” at the next parliamentary session on 2 Oct. The decision was made through a ballot conducted by Speaker of Parliament, Tan Chuan Jin yesterday.

The WP said in a Facebook post that their adjournment motion titled “Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong – policy decision or legal question?” may be subject for ballot once more if parliament convenes again on 3 Oct.

The WP had previously raised the same adjournment motion for debate on 28 August –  well before the Presidential Election went underway.

The motion was filed to debate parliament’s decision to count from appointed President Wee Kim Wee instead of elected President Ong Teng Cheong, on the recommendation of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to trigger a reserved election set aside for Malay candidates since there hasn’t been a Malay president for the last 5 consecutive terms.

If the Government had chosen to count from President Ong Teng Cheong, the last election would have been open to all races. Only the election after this would have been a reserved one, under new amendments to the Elected Presidency scheme that were instated this year.

Just like the last time the WP was blocked from raising the motion, two competing bids were suddenly filed before the WP could speak on the matter and MPs eventually chose to debate People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Dr Intan Azura’s “Preserving Green Space and Heritage in Jalan Kayu Constituency.”

Another ruling party MP, Vikram Nair, had also filed an adjournment motion on “The Future of National Service” that was part of the ballot yesterday. Nair’s motion was also considered at the last ballot in which PAP MP Murali Pillai’s “Community Sentencing and Other Rehabilitative Options” motion emerged victor over Nair’s topic and the reserved election motion.

Even though President Halimah Yacob has since assumed office in the reserved election by means of a walkover, the party remains dogged in clarifying the circumstances that triggered a reserved election. When Sylvia Lim filed the motion to debate the issue once again last month, the Party said:

“In the wake of intense public discussion after the parliamentary debates and a court case on the reserved presidential election, the Workers’ Party believes it is in the public interest for the Government to clarify this issue surrounding the election of our Head of State.”

WP’s Adjournment Motion on Elected Presidency Balloted Out of 2nd October Parliamentary SittingParliament received a…

Posted by The Workers' Party on Tuesday, 26 September 2017

This latest turn of events comes after WP Non Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera explained the reason why MPs from the party do not ask more questions in Parliament, earlier this week.

Perera attributed the WP’s perceived silence to the short duration of parliamentary sessions and the fact that there are 83 ruling party MPs and only 9 WP MPs and NCMPs. He also cited the fact that questions that are permitted to be asked each day parliament convenes is capped at a quota of three oral questions and two written questions per day.

The NCMP said that these factors limit the number of questions the WP is able to ask in the House and revealed five questions that he had filed to ask in parliament that remain unanswered from August, July and even as far back as April 2017.

Why don’t WP MPs ask more questions in parliament? WP NCMP explains

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22 comments

  1. The suggestion that WP was “blocked” from putting forward an adjournment motion twice is clearly inaccurate news from the independent.sg.

    Firstly, the article said that MPs *voted* to select another PAP MP’s motion but that’s not true. Motions are chosen by a *random* ballot (witnessed by WP MPs).

    Secondly, Speaker Tan has posted a note to say that when Ms Sylvia Lim’s proposed motion was not selected first in Sep, after being tabled on 28 Aug, it wasn’t because 2 other MPs jumped in with motions of their own after she tabled her motion, in order to reduce her odds. Rather these two motion topics from Murali and Vikram were already tabled and had been carried forward from a previous month. Vikram’s motion topic still hasn’t been selected …

    The foundation of any news must be facts!

  2. Block more times only increase the doubts on the PAP. Actually, WP just raise & get block is the best strategy. More than 3x blocked & more people will waiver their trust on the PAP.

  3. Ronald Lim says:

    they will try all means to deny Sylvia’s question from being asked. Just wait. There will be more and more questions placed so that her question will not see the light of day. if they are honourable, they will let the question be tabled. it is obvious they are trying to figure out how to answer before her question will be allowed to be tabled.

  4. My take is, they are trying to make the WP fed up and hope they will walk out, just like what the Barisan party did ages ago. Then it will be win win for them., no opposition.

  5. to be fair this is not a BAD government BUT unfortunately it behaves like it is a BAD government – whether it’s rewriting the constitution for PE or not allowing the Opposition to speak etc…Singaporeans believed that the changes in the PE is because the government does not want Mr Tan to qualify for the Presidential election. Why not once and for all address the issue. By not allowing the Opposition to ask the question in Parliament is not going to stop Singaporeans from talking about it.

  6. WP – post all the questions that are denied of your members that sit in parliament ! The public will judge ! The public are more discerning than what the ruling gov. would have it to be!!! Expose their dirty trick that undermine opposition MP’s functions!!!! Keep exposing exposing,exposing right up to 2019 !! Let the people judge ……
    Even debate in parliament is so suppressed in the guise of keeping order !

  7. Facebook Profile photo
    Jeff Low ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Good Try !!!
    Dun Waste 2 much efforts on it, mostly All our Ps r MIW pet.
    Look out for SG Greatest Show, Hopefully in the OPEN Court.
    Good Luck to the couple !
    R they sleeping well lately ???
    Do the OLD Man/Woman keep appearing in their dream ???
    Most ppl support BELL n LAMB.

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