Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today (Sep 29) issues a behaviour guideline, called the Rules of Prudence, urging PAP MPs to adhere to. In one of his recommendations, Lee Hsien Loong specified that MPs should separate their positions as MPs from their private sector positions. This is also subtly imply that PAP MPs are not required to quit their private sector jobs including non-executive directorships.

Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Justin Ong CNA
Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Justin Ong CNA

“Separate your public political position from your private, professional or business interests. You must not exploit your public position as Government MPs, your close contacts with the Ministers, or your access to government departments and civil servants, for your personal interest or the benefit of your employers. Do not use Parliamentary questions as a means to lobby the Government on behalf of your business or clients.”

However, many PAP MPs have one or a few full time private sector positions and are only doing their S$16,000/mth MP work part time, like Dr Chia Shi Lu, who is working as a senior consultant with the Singapore General Hospital.

Unfortunately, a few of them are holding full time jobs that raised speculations of conflicts in interests. One of them is MP Lee Bee Wah, who is the Group Director of Meinhardt Engineering, an engineering consultant company which contracts Yishun HDB construction jobs. The other one is MP Sun Xue Ling, who is the director of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings. MP Gan Thiam Poh is also the Senior Vice-President of DBS bank. It is hard to believe these executives’ private vested interests in their daytime jobs are able to divorce from influencing the political appointments they hold in the evening part-time MP duties.