Singapore — On Thursday (July 2), following criticism online, the PAP’s Indranee Rajah took to Facebook to clarify her earlier comments on the Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme, which now provides for 12 seats in Parliament for losing opposition candidates with the best results in a General Election.
Ms Indranee had spoken on Monday (June 29), in an online press conference on the eve of Nomination Day, in response to a request for a comment on the Workers’ Party election manifesto, which warned that the opposition could be wiped out in these elections. She had said: “Even if the PAP took all the elected seats, which we do not take for granted and cannot be a given, you will still have 12.”
Opposition leaders, including veteran Workers’ Party member Png Eng Huat, took to Facebook to air their discontent with her comments, which implied that there was no need to vote for the opposition. Mr Png said: “The NCMP scheme is not guaranteed. You must still finish among the top losers to qualify. So please, tell everyone to vote WP!”
Ms Indranee responded on Facebook on Thursday (July 2) that her “comments were made in response to a question about the need for alternative voices in Parliament so that there are checks and balances”.
WP’s Png Eng Huat, Leon Perera and Sylvia Lim referred to my comments on the fact that NCMPs have the same and equal…
She said the Constitution guarantees at least 12 opposition seats and that “NCMPs will have equal rights and powers in Parliament as constituency MPs”.
Ms Indranee added that, therefore, “alternative voices to provide checks and balances is hardwired into our system”.
She pointed out that what is not guaranteed is whether there will be a strong and capable government with a clear mandate to do what needs to be done to overcome the crisis.
That, she said, is in the hands of the voters.
Some of those online supported Ms Indranee’s comments, while others deemed her explanation as being insincere.
Photo: FB Screenshot, Indranee Rajah
Ms Indranee is in the PAP team contesting against a Progress Singapore Party (PSP) team in Tanjong Pagar GRC. In the team are Mr Chan Chun Sing, Ms Joan Pereira, Mr Alvin Tan and Mr Eric Chua.
The PSP team comprises Mr Michael Chua, Mr Harish Pillay, Mr Abas Kasmani, Ms Wendy Low and Mr Terence Soon. /TISG