Brazen legalised corruption took Parliament by storm on Monday (Feb 6) with Minister of State Chan Chun Sing openly declaring that a by-election will not be allowed if a minority candidate resigns to contest for the coming Presidential election. Minister Chan Chun Sing was responding to opposition MP Pritam Singh who pointed out that “the very existence of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, which by law requires a Malay MP as one of its political representatives in Parliament”.
Minister Chan Chun Sing said:
“If a minority candidate leaves his group representation constituency (GRC), a by-election will not be called. A by-election would not be called if a member of a GRC resigns or is incapacitated in any way. This is totally unrelated to the Bill today but since it was raised, I will deal with it.”
Quoting former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, the former army general bulldozed his argument saying:
“The GRC system has been in place since 1988, and requires each team to include at least one member of a minority race. When Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong explained the GRC system in Parliament decades back, he said its intent was to achieve two purposes. One, to ensure enough minority members in the House. This, Mr Chan said, had been achieved over the years. Two, to ensure no political campaign on issues of race and religion, “that we will all, regardless of party lines, campaign on the basis that we are all Singaporeans, that we will not use race, language or religion for political reasons. Elected members are expected to serve all residents, regardless of race, language and religion as well. These key goals would not be affected if one member of the GRC left.”
Minister Chan Chun Sing then even ridiculed the Singapore election system claiming that one minority MP less makes no difference in the ruling party-dominated Parliament:
“There are 25 minority MPs out of 89, more than what you’d expect proportionately from adding up the percentage of Malays, Indians and other minorities. Even if we have one less, that is 24 out of 89, which is 27 per cent of Parliament.”