Photo of Chan Chun Sing at dialogue from Mediacorp

Commenting on the case where a High Court Judge slammed a PAP MP for misrepresenting facts in a MP appeal letter, PAP Whip and Minister of State Chan Chun Sing deflected the blame with a flippant excuse saying it is not the MP’s job to verify facts, and that PAP MPs can write whatever they were told according to “party protocols”:

“MPs are usually not in a position to verify the facts narrated by the resident. According to the party’s longstanding internal protocol, the MP will write to present the resident’s case if requested to do so, and the letter will be based on the resident’s assertions.”

The potential Prime Minister candidate said that ruling party MPs can exert their pressure on the judiciary if the case is “urgent”, and the court will “determine how much weight” the PAP MP appeal letter would carry:

“MPs should write letters of appeal directly to the courts on behalf of residents, saying this is usually done only for “urgent cases”. MPs are generally advised to write to the Ministry of Law, which will then forward the letters of appeal – for example, when asking for leniency in sentencing – to the courts for their consideration. It will be for the courts to determine how much weight should be given to the appeal.”

Sengkang-West PAP MP Lam Pin Ming admitted that it is him who wrote the appeal letter slammed as “misleading” by the High Court. According to his appeal letter sent to the court, the woman had “only accidentally brushed” a motorcyclist resulting in the motorcyclist sustaining some injuries.

When interviewed by state media Straits Times, at least 10 fellow PAP MPs abandoned their comrade Lam Pin Ming:

“Ten MPs whom The Sunday Times spoke to, including Jalan Besar GRC MP Heng Chee How, Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng and Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari, also said they usually refrain from writing to the courts, as they could be seen as overstepping their role.”