Singapore dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was protected two times from questioning by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, and Opposition MP Chen Show Mao only get to ask the PM the third time.
Workers’ Party MP Chen Show Mao published a Parliament transcript of his exchange with PAP MP Haliamah Yacob. The PAP MP ruled his question “unrelated” on the first try and “inadmissible” on the second try.
“WP MP Chen Show Mao: I’d like to ask the Prime Minister at the next Parliamentary sitting: “When should a Minister or political appointee go to court to defend his or her reputation and when should he or she refrain from private litigation and seek instead to address such allegations publicly, such as in Parliament?
Speaker of Parliament PAP MP Haliamh Yacob: Your question asks about matters concerning decisions made by Ministers or political appointees in their personal capacity. As stipulated in the Standing Orders, parliamentary questions must relate to affairs within the official functions of a Minister. In view of this, do you wish to withdraw your question.
WP MP Chen Show Mao: I respectfully disagree. The question relates (and I have revised its wording to make it clearer) to defending one’s reputation as a Minister or political appointee in his or her official capacity as Minister or political appointee, as the case may be. Has there been, for example, as alleged an abuse of one’s official position as a government Minister?
Speaker of Parliament PAP MP Haliamh Yacob: Your question has also been ruled inadmissible as it seeks an expression of an opinion. It is also not the function of Government to decide whether a Minister should seek court action to defend his reputation or refrain from doing so. Such decisions are made by the Minister himself.”
The Opposition MP was only allowed to ask the question after he emphasised that he is seeking an official response and not a personal opinion.
To which, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong came out from his hiding and told the Opposition MP that the PM himself is a special case, hence he is allowed to clear his name in Parliament instead of going to the courts.