Screenshot from video

At the Parliamentary debate held yesterday (Feb 6) over the Elected Presidency changes, Minister of State Chan Chun Sing threatened the opposition that it is a “very serious issue” to question the Prime Minister’s integrity. Opposition MP Sylvia Lim posted a question to the Minister:

“We were told that the advice was to count from President Wee Kim Wee who was then the first president to exercise the powers of an elected president. This advice was surprising and illogical to many Singaporeans given that President Wee Kim Wee was never elected to office.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing angrily warned the Opposition MP that she might face consequences if she is questioning the dictator’s integrity:

“Are you suggesting the Attorney-General did not give the government the appropriate advice? Or that the Prime Minister has not been truthful with the Attorney-General’s advice? If it’s the first, then I think Miss Lim, as suggested by DPM Teo (Chee Hean), can challenge this in the courts. But if it’s the second, then I’m afraid it’s a very serious issue to cast aspersions on the integrity of our Prime Minister.”

Opposition MP Sylvia Lim however pointed out that the ruling party government is deciding their calculation method without any rule:

“The government’s decision to count from Wee as the first elected president was “arbitrary” and not a matter of getting legal advice to interpret any existing laws. Why not count from the first elected president, Mr Ong Teng Cheong? Is it because if President Ong was the first one to be counted, we would have to go through this year’s election as an open election and risk the contest by Chinese or Indian candidates who may not be to the government’s liking? If Ong was counted as the first elected president, only four terms would have passed by the next election.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing was unable to respond to the question and ended the argument without explanation and instead called for the opposition to blindly trust him that there is no political gain by the ruling party:

“President Wee Kim Wee was the first president to exercise the powers under the new Elected Presidency act. the amendments to the Bill were not for any short-term political gain, explaining that the moving of this Bill carry with it high political risk with some political cost. We are here to build systems for Singapore for the long haul. Not for short-term political advantage, not for the political advantage of any particular parties. We are but stewards for our nation.”