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The Motion to vacate my seat as NCMP under section 52 of the Parliamentary Elections Act and resolves that the seat be filled in accordance with sections 52(2) and 52(3B)(a) of the Act was passed in Parliament yesterday with amendments by the PAP which were both unfair to the party and an attack on me personally.
I was quite surprised by these amendments, which accuse me of acting in contrary to the views of the voters, and that this was a political manouevre. To clarify, I did not contest the General Elections to be an NCMP, but an elected member of the house with the full responsibilities involved in representing my constituents. Having lost my MP seat to Mr Charles Chong, I stepped aside in line with what the voters had expressed. Mr Chong suggested in Parliament that I should have respected the ‘decision of the minority’ who voted for me, by taking up the NCMP seat. The NCMP scheme was not put in place by the voters, but the Government. The people have no direct hand in electing me to the NCMP seat. Voters who voted for me were seeking for me to be their elected MP, and unfortunately this was not the outcome at the polls.
To be truly responsible to voters, I would need to be able to represent them both in Parliament and on the ground. As an NCMP I am unable to do that. Just recently as an NCMP-elect, I tried to apply to the PAP-managed Town Council to hold a charity food distribution event in Punggol East on 30th January 2016 today. This was rejected by the TC because they do not approve applications made by Political Parties. It is rather ironic given that when I was MP of Punggol East, I never rejected any applications from PAP-affiliates to hold events at areas managed by the WP Town Council. During my term as an MP, I was never successful in my applications to hold events at areas managed by the HDB like Rivervale Plaza. As an MP there were many challenges on the ground working with PAP-affiliates to hold events in my own constituency, even if they benefited the residents. What more as an NCMP where I would not be able to support even the people who voted for me on the ground?
The NCMP scheme is beneficial for aspiring MPs to show the people what they can do in terms of speaking up for them in the house, and I am glad that Parliament did allow the seat to be filled by one such individual. I wish members of the House all the best. I will continue my outreach and grassroots activities and my mission to make a difference to the lives of people in my own way. I am thankful for the support of those around me in doing so.
I rest my case on this whole issue. Much has been said.
Lee Li Lian