And “Parliament Passes Motion …”

Before my comment, I found this picture on a walled garden site and thought I should share it here:


How appropriate the headline is and the accompanying photo. I can’t find where this appeared and would appreciate all help to find it – I want to give credit where it is due.

It is not surprising at all that the parliament rubber-stamped the Population White Paper.

We have a total of 99 MPs in the Parliament. Doing the math:

  • Nominated Members of Parliament: 9
  • Non Constituency Members of Parliament: 3 (2 from WP, 1 from SPP)
  • Elected Members: 87 of which 7 are from the Worker’s Party and 80 from the People’s Action Party

So, if there were 77 yes (all PAP rubber stampers), who were the 3 from the PAP who did not vote?

Why is the Parliament website not updated immediately (and no live webcast of parliamentary proceedings as well – maybe the fiber link is not ready :-))? I want to know the voting record of all MPs. Am I asking for something hard to get?

The votes were 77 for (all PAP MPs), 13 against (7 WP MPs, 2 WP NCMPs, 1 SPP NCMP, 3 NMPs), 1 NMP abstaining bringing it to 91 which means we have 8 who did not turn up in parliament and so did not vote. The 8 would be 5 NMPs and 3 PAP MPs.

My guess is that the 3 PAP MPs who did not vote are Inderjit Singh (and I can’t tell for sure), LKY and one other. If it was indeed Inderjit who did not vote, then I am very, very disappointed. For all the passion he showed in his speech – which I happily carried on my blog, it would most unfortunate if he did not actually vote. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if he did show up and voted YES because while he could have been given the freedom to make the statements he made, he would have been told that the party whip will be enforced, thereby forcing him to vote along party lines. So much for standing up to your convictions and that of your constituents.

I am guessing that LKY was absent as well. I am told that he is in hospital and has been there for a while now; and the local MSM has been embargoing the news. Probably explains why he did not show up at all at the Punggol East by-elections.

All things considered, so long as there is the existence of a party whip, the parliament cannot be a democracy and I was under that illusion all along. 

Please, Clerk of Parliament, update your website immediately. This is 2013 already. An informed citizenry is a valuable asset and don’t squander that.

Update, February 9 2013 0948 hrs: According to the following tweet from Inderjit (via MrBrown), he did not vote. Not voting generally means being absent from the parliament. That’s a clever move as he will not be sanctioned by the PAP whip if he voted against and not by Singaporeans if he did. But, frankly, Mr Singh, this is a cop out. Not sure why you did not vote, Mr Singh, but I hope you will be able to stand up to your convictions and be able to look back to this without regrets. As Russell Peters says, “be a man”.


    • We all knew that the paper will be passed. It was more about finding out who has the conviction of their conscience and are listening to their constituents.

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