Former Presidential candidate, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, has suggested that Mr Shanmugam is unhappy to be confronted by his questions. Dr Tan was responding to Mr K Shanmugam’s Facebook post in which the Law and Home Affairs Minister claimed that the doctor was “bitter” and engaged in “elaborate charades”.
Dr Tan said that he would let readers decide if Mr Shanmugam had adequately answered him or if Dr Tan himself had misquoted the Minister.
Dr Tan earlier asked if the if the Minister had contradicted himself when he at first told CNA “… once we get the advice, we will send it out. Certainly by the time the bill gets to Parliament, which is in October … and will make it public” but later said in Parliament “this government, as a rule, generally, does not publish legal opinions that it gets.”
The Minister answered Dr Tan and said that there was no contradiction. He said the “it” in “send it out” was referring to the government’s position on the term count, and not Attorney-General’s advice.
Dr Tan had also asked why Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong remained silent during the debate. Minister Shanmugam answered him saying, “I’m surprised Dr Tan should ask me this question. Surely as a former parliamentarian he knows that adjournment motions have strict time limits. The MP moving the adjournment motion has up to 20 minutes; and someone else has all of 10 minutes to respond. That’s it. As Law Minister, I responded on behalf of the Government.”
Dr Tan said that he never asked about parliamentary procedures.
“I simply asked why the PM stayed silent,” he said.
“PM could have spoken during those 10 minutes since his statement was being challenged,” Dr Tan added.