No excuse for “bitter” Tan Cheng Bock to engage in “elaborate charades” – Shanmugam


Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam said today that Dr Tan Cheng Bock “spliced my remarks, rearranged them, and put them together in a way to suggest something which I did not say.” He was referring to the remarks he had made in Parliament this week, with regards to the term count that triggered the reserved Presidential Election that disbarred Dr Tan from contesting the election.

Dr Tan alleged that the Minister’s arguments about the term count were contradictory, in a Facebook post yesterday:

MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE MOTION BY MS SYLVIA LIM ON TUESDAY 3 OCT 2017 I have 2 observations on Ms Lim’s excellent…

Posted by Dr Tan Cheng Bock on Saturday, 7 October 2017


Responding on his own Facebook page, the Minister clarified the comments he had made in Parliament before saying, “Dr Tan may be bitter. But that is no excuse for engaging in these elaborate charades”:

“Dr Tan Cheng Bock now claims that I had said that the Government would publish AGC’s advice, and that this is inconsistent with what I said in Parliament last week. This is untrue.
Dr Tan has spliced my remarks, rearranged them, and put them together in a way to suggest something which I did not say.
Here is what I said in full, as reported in CNA (link below).
“Q: When would the circuit-breaker (to hold a reserved election after a racial group has not been represented in Presidential office after five continuous terms) come into effect?
Mr Shanmugam: The most direct answer is actually, the Government can decide. When we put in the Bill, we can say we want it to start from this period. It’s… a policy decision but there are also some legal questions about the Elected Presidency and the definition and so on, so we have asked the Attorney-General for advice. Once we get the advice, we will send it out. Certainly by the time the Bill gets to Parliament, which is in October, I think we will have a position and we will make it public. At present, there are a number of legal questions… including whether such provisions are consistent with the Convention to eliminate racial discrimination, how you draft it, whether you count all presidencies, elected presidencies, which is the first elected president – there are a number of questions we have to sort out.”
As the context makes clear, I was asked when the circuit breaker for holding reserved election will come into effect. I answered by making the following points:
1. It is a policy decision, for the government to make;
2. The Bill can state when the term count begins, and that will determine when the circuit breaker comes into effect;
3. But there were a number of legal questions to sort out before the Bill could be finalised, and we were getting AGC’s advice on those questions;
4. The Government will decide on the term count after we received AGC’s advice, and will then set out its position [I said ‘ we will send it out’];
5. At the latest, the Government will have a position on the term count by the time the Bill gets to Parliament. And at that point, it will make its position public.
Clearly, I was referring to making the Government’s position (and not the AGC’s advice) public. The question was when the circuit breaker will come into effect. My answer was that we would make our position clear after we had sorted out some points; and at the latest, we will make our position clear by the time the Bill gets to Parliament.
As it so happened, the Prime Minister himself made clear the Government’s position on the term count when Parliament debated the Constitutional amendments. He said we would start counting from President Wee Kim Wee’s second term. As the Court of Appeal has said explicitly, the Prime Minister was clear.
Dr Tan may be bitter. But that is no excuse for engaging in these elaborate charades.
Dr Tan also asks why I – and not the PM, DPM Teo or Minister Chan Chun Sing – replied to Ms Sylvia Lim. 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 Cheng Bock’s splicing and rearranging my remarks ] Dr Tan Cheng Bock now claims that I had said that the…

Posted by K Shanmugam Sc on Sunday, 8 October 2017


  1. This was what he said at the Dialogue, “….so we have asked the Attorney-General for advice. Once we get the advice, we will send it out.”

    He now explains that he meant, “The Government will decide on the term count after we received AGC’s advice, and will then set out its position” (Adding that) “I was referring to making the Government’s position (and not the AGC’s advice) public.”

    But from what he is recorded to have said, it seems clear that what he meant was the AGC’s advice and the Government’s position after it is sorted out would be sent out (i.e. made public).

  2. Everyone know who manipulated the Elected Presidency by Selecting a Indian for the post and made a mockery of our Singapore Pledged and our meritocracy. Lies after lies .believing the public are a bloody idiots .this only proves one thing our PM LHL and his PAP government are hiding something very serious and big from the Public. Shanmugam WP Sylvia Lim didn’t ask you .she questioned PM LHL DPM TCH and that idiotic Kuku Chan Chun Sing. Why must you open your big mouth to twist the fact .

  3. No point to argue. I don’t see the need for Dr Tan to degrade himself to argue with a prata hawker.
    Someone with power, charisma and leadership should step forward to challenge Dr Tan.

    …………………….. erm anyone?

    cricket chirping

    ……………………… hello?


    Oh. I forgot. He is dead.
    Not to mention name.
    But I miss Mr Lee KY.

    • I like that phrase “prata hawker”. It’s especially apt. No doubt an IB will try and spin it as being racist or something that suits their disingenuous agenda.

  4. As usual that dbl headed quadrupled tongue black mamba viper breed is hissing his venom !! Bitter ? Is there a reason for Dr.Tan to be bitter ? Unless he is “unjustifiably” denied his place in the PE !
    Should there be any course to be bitter , it would be all Singaporean who are denied their voting right !! ;And, being lied to over the many years past !!!
    Charade ? Wow ! Black mamba viper breed at its’ best again !! White termite gang has horned perfect skill to turn themselves from termite into chameleon at any instance!! Now black mamba viper breed , if Indian can be Malay , then tell us Singaporean who is into bigger charade ??? Nahbeh

  5. Walao……Parliament? Government? Who is in the Parliament? Who is the Government…. Same PPL Leh….Then pls next time forget about announcing election of President….U all call the shot….just get one President in….But pls Leh……We r living here…..Dun keep thinking of how to dig our pockets…..Let yr citizens have a breather….Sit down with yr related ministries and discuss issues like how to settle n make better our daily life…..instead of spending time to get all the big shot out to keep talking about 2017 elected President issue….. we r heading ahead 2018 Liao Leh….very jialak…. wat done is already done la…..Dun keep saying those words like looking at future…. all those stuff la….. Keep it for coming GE…..jus waitin the moment of 2020/21 GE results…. Thank you….

  6. Mr. Shanmugam you are not a law minister. The real law minister was E.W. Baker and you can’t stand in his shoes. You twist and lie for the Dictator which makes you an accomplice to the rape of our constitution. May you rot in hell for all eternity.

  7. What an irony. A Minister in charge of Law arguing about a case where as he claims, no law should be involved. This is concerning the citizens’ right to election, our Constitutional Law.

  8. I think the good Dr Tan is right to request for a clarification of an unclear statement and the minister should have just clarified it without all the unnecessary remarks.
    There’s no need to be so combative all the time. Don’t we all have the same goal of making Singapore a better place ?

  9. Sometimes , we will at some point need to do just that , is rearrange the words to explain the matter clearer ….

    But …. is he basically saying someone is putting words into his mouth ?

  10. Why is this ah nei speaking on behalf of pinkie and bog nose?? They were the ones who said they have taken the advice of AGC. Now want to u turn so send this person to take the heat? No wonder all these pole are earning bog bucks. To take heat on behalf of pinkie and big nose

  11. Ya sometime really we don’t understood tjier words sometime they say we misquote thier word like this one once we recipes AGC advice I will send it out but how come yhe front line front line we will set it

  12. Why A PM, a DPM and very likely 4GL PM-designate can spout lies and tasked Minister of Law to help them wriggle out of them…. The Piper is truly stopping at nothing… anyone in public civil service should be disgusted to be working for such politicians… they think not only the public are stupid, seethe bureaucrats as servants to blindly endorse and carry out?

  13. TAN CHENG BOCK & SYLVIA LIM have presented their arguments well in court and in Parliament. Point by point and objectively with no bitterness. Can’t say the same for the opposing party. What a disappointment

    • That bloody dunk tongued black mamba viper breed mentioned Dr TCB being bitter with that devious doing ! Wonder if it is even a more worst off response from him being so very bitter when facing questions from opposition members , public members ????

  14. lets get this straight -1.2. TCB is not bitter but majority of the Singaporeans are. TCB did not engage in ‘elaborate charade’ its your Govt on the EP. 3. Please let the PM answer the questions posed, he is the one who started this whole ‘charade’ and you are not the PM. 1111

  15. C’mon K Shanmugam Sc! Just admit the last PE was the “NOT Dr Tan Cheng Bock” Election. Of course it was also the “Halimah Yacob and no one else or we will Change the Rules & Constitution again” Election.

  16. Correct me if l am wrong.The record shows he stood and lost…he asked for recount he had a recount and lost…took president issue to high court and lost..costs against him was put aside…enough of this stuff !!! Pack up and move on…Sin has enough problems as it is…we got to make a living .

  17. I suggested he resigned and go into practice since he is able to twist and turn like his Indian tongue and sure win court cases and be famous. Why stay put as minister and let people go after your arse hole.

  18. The whole drama of The Reserved President is based on the poor script written by the AGC, produced by an inexperienced director, the Law Minister, and heavily invested by the law maker, the PM.

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