I was in Parliament this afternoon to clear my cupboard. This particular book was especially memorable. I delivered my maiden speech on this and although there were butterflies in my stomach, I was glad that I was able to speak up on this topic.
I went to the library to thank the staff who were always so patient with each and everyone of us smile emoticon I had to once again explain my decision not to take up the NCMP role. I hope residents of PE can understand my decision. I would like to thank ELD for the NCMP appointment, however I will not be accepting it.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me on and have shared your disappointment with this decision. I wish to explain my reasons:
1. Respecting the electoral process and the voters’ choice
I’ve done my part in Parliament in the 2.5 years. Residents have seen the issues that I have raised in this period,and we have shared my parliamentary work as part of our door-to-door outreach during GE2015 to every household except Rivervale Crest (Condominium) which we have no access to.
Majority of the voters in Punggol East decided to not give me the mandate after 2.5 years, and we must respect this. The NCMP role is better suited for an aspiring MP who has no such experience and should take this up to show how he/ she can contribute in Parliament.
2. Being Fair
In 2013, after I was elected. I resigned from my job to become a full time MP. The reason for doing so was to be fair to both my residents and employer with my commitment of time. If I were to take on the NCMP role, the commitment in Parliament is quite similar to a full fledged MP.
However, unlike for an MP, it is not possible to be a full time NCMP. It will not be fair to my future employer to take leave from work every month. During budget debates, for example, you need to be away from work for at least 2 weeks.
3. WP has many good candidates
Hopefully with my decision, Parliament can allow one more from East Coast GRC to be appointed as NCMP. This gives a chance to our other aspiring MPs to show the people what they can do in terms of speaking up for them.
In addition, I would like to spend some time now with my family, who has supported me throughout this journey but have also missed my presence in their lives. I had my first child while being an MP, and while I do not have any regrets, I did miss out on key moments in her life as I walked the ground in Punggol East.
Although I did not take up the seat, I will continue to contribute to society and to Singapore. I will continue to keep in touch with PE residents. I have made many friends there, including those that wept for me. I will also continue to support and make my contributions to the Workers’ Party.
I left Parliament with a heavy heart and the hazy weather reflects my feelings. It has been a fantastic 2.5 years.
The election is over and results are final. Let us move on as a country and may all new MPs enjoy the process as much as I did.