Presidential candidate Halimah Yacob yesterday (Aug 17) told state media reporter in an interview claiming that she has always been fair and even-handed. The Indian Singaporean contesting for the Malay Presidential election said that she was only “following the rules” whenever she interrupted the Opposition MPs from asking more questions:
“I tried my utmost to give Members of Parliament (MPs) a fair opportunity to ask questions and was very even-handed” to both backbenchers and political officeholders. On the occasions when I had to interject and remind MPs — including those from the Workers’ Party — not to launch into a debate during question time. I do not make the rules, Parliament makes the rules. And I have to apply the rules.”
Halimah Yacob said that her notable moments in Parliament was during the approving of the 6.9 million population white paper in 2013:
“When I was elected by the House as Speaker, I had very little learning time to familiarise herself with the role and had to preside overthe February 2013 debate on the Population White Paper. It was a rather controversial debate which I had to “take care of”.”
The PAP-endorsed candidate also claimed that she will be as “independent” a President as she was as the Speaker of Parliament.
In the recent debate over the Prime Minister’s abuse of power, Halimah Yacob stopped Opposition MP Chen Show Mao twice from questioning the PM. Halimah Yacob dismissed WP MP Chen Show Mao’s questions as “unrelated” at first and then “inadmissible” in his second attempt. In her role as Speaker of Parliament, she repeatedly defended PM Lee Hsien Loong from questionings by the Opposition.
In her 16 years political career with the PAP with over 200 parliament seatings, Halimah Yacob has never once voted “no” against any government motion. Her abstains from votes are similarly non-existent as compared to the number of “yes” she voted.