-Following the resignations of two members from the ruling party on Monday, the Singaporean government suffered yet another setback.
-Tan Chuan-Jin, the former Speaker of the Parliament, was one of them and resigned due to his recent “unparliamentary language.” Cheng Li Hui, another politician, also announced his resignation as a member of parliament with immediate effect. Both belonged to the People’s Action Party, which was in power.
-Both resignations occur barely one week after the government revealed that a cabinet minister and the CEO of a publicly traded firm in Singapore are subjects of high-profile graft investigations by the city-state’s anti-corruption agency.
Following the resignations of two politicians from the ruling party who acknowledged to having a “inappropriate relationship” with one another, Singapore’s government suffered yet another setback on Monday.
Tan Chuan-Jin, the former Speaker of the Parliament, was one of them and resigned due to his recent “unparliamentary language.” Cheng Li Hui, another politician, also announced his resignation as a member of parliament with immediate effect. Both belonged to the People’s Action Party, which was in power.
“In addition to his recent use of impermissible language, Mr. Tan’s inappropriate relationship with PAP colleague Ms. Cheng Li Hui is a problem. He was the Speaker and she was an MP, and there shouldn’t have been a relationship, so this is, in comparison, the more serious issue, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a press conference on Monday.
Both resignations have been accepted by the prime minister, who also stated that Tan’s departure was “necessary” in order to “maintain the high standards of propriety and personal conduct which the PAP has upheld all these years.”
In Singapore, where the ruling party has been in power since 1959, prior to the city-state’s independence in 1965, abrupt resignations of top PAP party members are uncommon.
The announcement that a cabinet minister and the leader of a publicly traded firm in Singapore are under investigation by the city-state’s anti-corruption agency in a high-profile graft probe was made by the government just one week prior to the resignations.
As part of its probe into transport minister S Iswaran, Singapore’s Corrupt Practices probe Bureau issued an arrest warrant for billionaire Ong Beng Seng on Friday.
After CPIB disclosed that the transport minister was collaborating with an inquiry, Lee claimed earlier last week that he had ordered Iswaran to take a leave of absence.
Tan admitted to making a mistake in Parliament when he spoke to a member of the opposition party in a manner that was “rude and unparliamentary” in his resignation letter to Lee.
After a recent issue involving a remark Tan made on a hot mic during a Parliament session, he resigned. The message was extensively shared on social media last week, drawing anger from the general public, and a video clip of it was later discovered.
Tan, who was chosen to serve as the 10th speaker of parliament in September 2017, stated in his letter of resignation that “my words have rightfully caused a lot of concern. Many people thought I wasn’t being fair.
“My error created more serious concerns about my objectivity and impartiality as Speaker. The Chair’s and Parliament’s credibility are crucial and cannot be compromised, he continued.
In his Monday briefing, Lee stated that he will name a new Speaker by the next session of Parliament, which would be held on August 1, and that he would also be making a ministerial statement at that time.
The primary reasons Singaporeans trust and respect the PAP and give us their mandate to form the government and work with us to better Singaporeans’ lives are high standards of propriety and personal behavior, along with remaining clean and uncorrupt, Lee stated.
“All PAP MPs, including Ministers and backbenchers, are expected to uphold these fundamental principles at all times. This is a necessity in the strictest sense because without party discipline and honesty, we are nothing.