Singaporeans are cheering Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim’s standing up to the bullying by three heavyweight Ministers. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Law Minister K Shanmugam and Culture Minister Grace Fu almost had a stroke when they heard the Opposition MP declaring that she is not apologising or retracting her statements.
Minister Grace Fu went on a tirade, calling her “dishonourable” and “low standards”. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was incoherent putting up a weak defence saying “this is a serious place”. Law Minister K Shanmugam was silent and awkwardly quiet. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did not dare to take the stand. The millionaire Ministers were clearly caught off guard by MP Sylvia Lim’s undaunted defiance and “un-PAP” behaviour.
On the other fence, WP MP Sylvia Lim eloquently and calmly explained her position and being made to repeat that she is not apologising:
“I will not apologise to this House because I believe I was doing my duty as an MP, in the Constitutional role that we have been elected to, to give the Government the forum to account to the people, and for that I make no apology.”
WP MP Sylvia Lim even brought up a quote from Lee Hsien Loong during the Oxley Road debate, earning silent acknowledgements from even the other PAP MPs:
“I begin (Lee Hsien Loong’s) quote: If MPs believe that soemthing is wrong, it is the MP’s job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name. Decide whether something seems to be wrong and if you think something is wrong, even if you are not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the government, ask for explanations and answers.” This is the quote from Prime Minister Lee during the closing debate on 38 Oxley Road. So I’d like the leader (Grace Fu) to clarify: is there a difference in standard here? One standard when the PM’s name need to be cleared, and another standard when we are talking about raising taxes on the people?”
The Opposition MP’s outspoken performance winning 3 PAP Ministers in a debate impressed Singaporeans with some even calling for her to be the next Prime Minister of Singapore.