Photo of Grace Fu from TOC

Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim refused to be bullied and declared that she is only doing her duty as a MP and she will not apologise to the ruling party PAP government:

“As an opposition MP, it is my duty to watch every move and signal from the Government for the future of Singapore and the welfare of Singaporeans.”

The response triggered Minister Grace Fu who started verbally abusing the WP MP and the Opposition Party, calling her “low standards”, “hurting the integrity of PAP government” and “dishonourable”:

“I am deeply disappointed that someone of Ms Lim’s experience would accuse the Government of a lack of candour, adding that Ms Lim’s conduct reflects the low standards of the Workers’ Party and its members, with regard to commitment to truthful and honest debate in Parliament. The allegations have indeed harmed and tarnished the reputations of other members, namely the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. Because she has put questions, she did not withdraw her allegation, she has not apologised. I think the privilege that parliamentarians enjoy come with responsibility. If you do not have the facts, you should check them, and having done so, you should consider whether the remarks have indeed hurt the integrity of the members. And I put to the House that indeed they have. Unlike her colleague NCMP Leon Perera, who both withdrew and apologised to this House for making misleading statements in a recent case, Ms Lim has refused to apologise. By so refusing, her conduct falls short of the conduct expected of all members.”

The PAP Minister then threatened to prosecute the Opposition MP if she “repeats such dishonourable conduct”:

“Should Ms Lim repeat such dishonourable conduct and abuse Parliamentary privilege, she will refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges.”

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat joined in the bullying and started talking without explanations about GST increase being a “secret”:

“The details are kept as secret until the day of the Budget because it has got an impact on the market, not just in Singapore, but internationally. The issue of increasing taxes had been raised many times, just without revealing the timing and details. I don’t think it is proper for us to talk about the details and timing of it way in advance of a Budget.”

However a check with past media reports revealed that the Singapore government did not refute any reports of GST increase speculated by the government state media Straits Times and CNA.