“PAP ministers were brow beating Sylvia Lim” – Tan Cheng Bock throws weight behind WP MP

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Veteran politician Dr Tan Cheng Bock has thrown his weight behind Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim after five prominent ruling party politicians took Lim to task over her remarks on the timing of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike announcement.

Voicing his support for Lim on Facebook today, Dr Tan asserted that the ruling party ministers were “brow beating” Lim. In a post that has since gone viral, he said:

“BE GRACIOUS IN PARLIAMENT
“Having watched the video on the GST debate, I felt the PAP ministers especially Shanmugam were brow beating MP Sylvia Lim by demanding an apology for asking whether the government postponed the GST hike because of negative public feedback. Many people perceive this brow beating as arrogance. I remember our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once told all PAP MPs in 1988 “Any show of arrogance or indifference by any MP or Minister will erode confidence in him and, later, in the government.”
“Instead of getting upset, the Ministers should be thankful Sylvia Lim gave them an opportunity to explain. If the government’s position is ‘no’ then just say no and let’s just stop at that. No need to get defensive. As PM Lee Hsien Loong rightly said at the close of the Oxley Road debate: “If MPs believe that something is wrong, it’s an MP’s job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong, and if you think something is wrong, even if you’re not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers.” I enclose a video clip of Sylvia Lim quoting PM Lee.
“PM Lee was echoing the view of our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who said “All MPs new and old, should speak out. You have to speak up and bring out the grapevine criticism in the coffee shops and hawker centres. It is damaging for the government not to openly refute it with facts and argument. By bringing up apparently embarrassing issues, you help the government openly state the facts and explain the reasons for our policies and so continue to hold the ground.”
“So be gracious, no need to over-react or ask for any apology for bringing out “grapevine criticism” or “apparently embarrassing issues” in Parliament.”

Lim had said earlier that the Government had floated “trial balloons” on a possible tax hike but possibly backed down after the public noted Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s comments in 2015 that the Government has enough revenue for the next decade.

While the Aljunied GRC MP defended her statement as “honest suspicion,” her remarks drew intense flak from Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam who refuted the allegation and asserted that her statement was both “dishonest” and “hypocritical”.

Shanmugam and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat pressed Lim to withdraw her statement. Heng later wrote a letter and pressured Lim to behave as “an honourable MP should” and retract her statement.

This was followed by Leader of the House, Grace Fu, giving Lim a 3-day deadline to apologise for the “false allegation” or risk further action on Tuesday, 6 Mar. When Lim refused to, a “disappointed” Fu put Lim on notice and added that Lim’s behaviour is indicative of the low standards of “the member and her party,” and that her actions are “deplorable”.

After this, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah took to Facebook to share her take on the events. Many netizens found her explanation of why Fu had said that Lim had not behaved honourably to be “unnecessary” and urged her to move on.

Indranee Rajah sides with Grace Fu; explains why Sylvia Lim’s conduct is dishonourable

Netizens thank Sylvia Lim for standing up against “intimidation tactics” in Parliament

Sylvia Lim In Parliament

BE GRACIOUS IN PARLIAMENTHaving watched the video on the GST debate, I felt the PAP ministers especially Shanmugam were brow beating MP Sylvia Lim by demanding an apology for asking whether the government postponed the GST hike because of negative public feedback. Many people perceive this brow beating as arrogance. I remember our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once told all PAP MPs in 1988 “Any show of arrogance or indifference by any MP or Minister will erode confidence in him and, later, in the government.” Instead of getting upset, the Ministers should be thankful Sylvia Lim gave them an opportunity to explain. If the government’s position is ‘no’ then just say no and let’s just stop at that. No need to get defensive. As PM Lee Hsien Loong rightly said at the close of the Oxley Road debate: “If MPs believe that something is wrong, it’s an MP’s job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong, and if you think something is wrong, even if you’re not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers.” I enclose a video clip of Sylvia Lim quoting PM Lee.PM Lee was echoing the view of our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who said “All MPs new and old, should speak out. You have to speak up and bring out the grapevine criticism in the coffee shops and hawker centres. It is damaging for the government not to openly refute it with facts and argument. By bringing up apparently embarrassing issues, you help the government openly state the facts and explain the reasons for our policies and so continue to hold the ground.” So be gracious, no need to over-react or ask for any apology for bringing out “grapevine criticism” or “apparently embarrassing issues” in Parliament.

Posted by Dr Tan Cheng Bock on Friday, 9 March 2018

109 COMMENTS

    • Chee Hong
      It appears that you just came out from the chee. Do you understand what your PM said at the Oxley session in parliament?
      I repeat:
      “If MPs believe that something is wrong, it’s an MP’s job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong, and if you think something is wrong, even if you’re not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers.” I enclose a video clip of Sylvia Lim quoting PM Lee”
      Bastards like Heng, Black snake,Disgraceful, Kopi susu Indranee and you don’t understand English?
      I have said my piece Chee. Bye.

  1. Speaking out openly what is on the ground is not wrong. I fully agree with Dr.Tan Cheng Bok that the PAP MPs should be thankful to Sylvia Lim for bringing out the coffee shop talk to the Parliament so that all the MPs including our Prime Minister would know what is happening on the ground. Asking MP Sylvia Lim to apologize does not seem to be fair to me at all. We love the Government but the Government should listen to our grievances. This is good Governance.

  2. quoted from Grace Fu
    “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 allegations, she did not apologized….”

    so harmed and tarnished the reputations of the Government….
    why did Grace Fu NOT refer her to the Committee of Privileges???
    so dis grace ful..!!

  3. I am most impressed when our Minister who stood up and declare that he does not intend to speak… then spoke at length, taking references from an ‘I pad’… at the end of his unintended speech, passed the iPad to the PM.

    Seems like he has not intended to speak BUT APPOINTED to speak

  4. Lose WITH dignity …..Gentleman
    Win WITHOUT dignity ….. Coward

    Better remind studying children not to ask question
    Because need to apologize if teachers felt offended
    LMAO

  5. If these are Singapore’s 4th Generation leaders, then heaven help us. They have proven why many more opposition members need to be elected to parliament.

  6. They are bullies in SG. But quite as a mouse and tame as a rabbit in the global political arena. How great is that? They tarnish their own reputation

  7. Stop quoting the dead old man. He himself is one villain shutting up any critics and hard questions. Only when he was an opposition, and there was s need to speak up, but when he took over, who dared?

  8. sometime people don’t know how to keep his/her Big mouth shut. they thought they are the brightest or smarter than the rest. they are in fact bring disgrace and bad name to their name and their family.

    People are not stupid to hear what you says, but how you behaves and response to arguments. From these few day par-lee-ment debates. we can see that all of these Pappies are rather childish, ill-mannered and arrogant..

    they will learn their lessons soon, for Heaven will remove them all for being so selfish and arrogant.

    they have loss the opportunity to serve the people and do good; but instead making themselves looks foolish

  9. Nearly 70% kiasu n kiasee people voted for this elitist govt so this is what you get , arrogant , self serving , out of touch MPs n ministers .

  10. There are too many heartless and brainless wild cocks attacking a mother hen!
    It is very unethical that our academic scholars are behaving like wild cocks!
    Cocks are supposed to crow once when the sun rise, not to crow non-stop, especially not to gang up to attack a weak mother hen!

  11. DR . TCB …..my respect to you ! you spoke with fairness and is unbiased, a true gentlemen you are indeed .
    You have just educated those “4Gs M” the going about of being a fine parliamentarian !!
    If only you were not prevented from being Singapore President !!! It would have make a lots of difference to the common people!!!

  12. Mr Tan my heartful respect to you sir.as i believe the more humble u are the more support u get.but with regrets to say majority of spordans choose to be arrogant.wat goes around comes around

  13. We must thanks Dr Tan coming out to give support to WP Slyvia and the members of public at large. The G is lining up (Q them up) their Mps and ministars one by one to regurgitate their saliva through newspapers. If they still feel a sore loser or still have gut, I propose they hold an open debate infront of public (face to face with citizens) at Hong Lim Park. Dont hide behind one by one and grumble as if money is no enough !

  14. I.am very appreciative of you Dr. Tan to comment on the bullying attitude of our million $$$$ ministers n their arrogance in demanding an apology frm our brave MP Sylvia Lim. I strongly agree with u .They had also robbed your chance of being voted our next President.

  15. Amazing pap mp’s are not just arrogant but puppets to a corrupt system of government. Don’t ever forget Grace fu will only be in public service if her pay is right! Hypocrite!

  16. This is why I sincerely put it..Dr Tan Cheng Bock Sir, u should be the one and only president right now and not a puppet Indian one..Am I correct in that?? Of course..plain and simple..

  17. Horay to Magaret Thatcher of singapore, Ms Sylvia Lim and gracious gentleman Mr Tan C. B. You make our days.

  18. Sg will forever be a shitty and crappy island as long as the ruling PAP Party reigns its rules forever.

    Hopeless and as dry as a water well without water due to month long dry spells.

  19. I call the pappy behavior to be victimisation and they are going for the kill.

    What the workers, arbetare, proletariat, lumpen, the poor, the shirtless, the peasants and other should do is to unite to defend Sylvia and fight to death.

  20. I hope Singaporeans remember this when comes to election time. Put your vote to good use, your vote is your only power to do something about it and prevent such abuse n bullying in the future.

    • It’s sad that the 70% are still in a stage of comatose and will never wake up and it’s proven throughout so many GE.

  21. Yes, the more Minster to attack SL the better, this will let SL grain more support, more popular and more publicity.

  22. Did Mr Sham call her “dishonest and hypocritical”? If it is so, is not substandard ? The Opp MP Ms Lim raise an “honest” suspicion. Mr Heng said the Budget is top secret. Yes it is but i believe to tell the public that in this budget the govt will not raise gst (bsf the budget) has little if not no impact at all.

  23. “I remember our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once told all PAP MPs in 1988 “Any show of arrogance or indifference by any MP or Minister will erode confidence in him and, later, in the government.””

    Clearly the above even if LKY in fact did say it, wasn’t in practice and wasn’t part of the culture of PAP. Otherwise, you won’t see the clown shows by the rich brats huffing and puffing in Parliament.

  24. The likes of Jason Chua probably think that this is brilliant stuff by their masters. That such people are probably their only feedback channel means that they will definitely pursue the issue further.

  25. Hi, SL had her say in Parliament and those MIWs were trying to “stab” her continually. I believe now SL CANNOT say or repeat what she had said in Parliament. Doing so, maybe a risk for her, am I correct ? Because I am not sure whether the MIW might take action on her if she repeat outside Parliament ??? Not sure, myself not a lawyer. Appreciate that some SG lawyers can give your opinion here on this matter. Thanks.

  26. just try to divert your attention…brazilian oli mining bribery near billion dollars has gone. who is going to absorb the loss…老女人要过更年期了…

  27. “Dishonourable” kept being used by the people in white it’s because they have one amongst them and labelled by none other than this town siblings.

  28. “Dishonourable” kept being used by the people in white it’s because they have one amongst them and labelled by none other than this town siblings.

  29. 白党一路来都是双重标准,自己人犯错,轻轻带过,外人没犯错,一群三六,便开始围攻了,咬着不放,人民眼睛雪亮…(三加六是x)…神五说没做错,不会道歉…

  30. They wanted all yes men n ladies so can pass any implementation. (They should accept mistake n learn with good opposition highlighting any issue) ONE PARTY POLICY IS NOT ALWAYS HEALTHY YA.

  31. Dr TCB…you have spoken out loud and sincere on the bullying of opposition WP Cynthia….I salute and applaud you for speaking fairly..!
    Can I humbly make a suggestion….since the ground are showing unhappiness…voicing their concerns over what our men in white are doing…
    Why don’t you consider…start a New Political Party…n…recurit some of our unsung heroes who speak frequently against the wrong doings of the PAP…
    If you can start a New Party…you may one Day becomes the next PM for Singapore…that will be great celebration for all Singaporean ….
    Just my dream for you Sir Dr TCB

  32. Why form another political party.It is not production.Just gather all opposition to form our own Singapore Pakatan Rakyat Party like our neighbour Malaysia.This way we can hope for a better future.Ha ha ha
    God Bless the opposition.

  33. Ai ya, Singaporeans always Complain pap a lot then end up also vote for pap. Already happens so many times. Just like pap ownself care for ownself. The wp fight so hard, can say risking their life Cause anytime can be sue If say wrong words. And will get find marked by them. Seriously no chance already la. So many new citizen can vote for the pap already.

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