Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Transport Janil Puthucheary was appointed as the ruling People Action Party’s (PAP) new party whip, yesterday (6 June).
Dr Puthucheary, who also serves as Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Communications and Information, takes over from Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing. Mr Chan, who is the PAP’s second assistant secretary-general, continues to serve as the PAP’s HQ chairman.
In a media statement signed by Mr Chan, the Government announced that SMS for Communications and Information Sim Ann and Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad will assist Dr Puthucheary as deputy party whips.
Ms Sim was the deputy party whip under Mr Chan and continues in the role while Mr Zaqy replaces former deputy party whip, Sam Tan.
The media statement said that the party whip “contributes to the smooth running of the party’s parliamentary machinery” and ensures that there is good communication within the party.
Besides listing speaking parliamentarians for each item of business and estimating the time required to ensure that Parliamentary sittings run smoothly and in a timely manner, the statement said that the party whip is “often regarded as the disciplinarian in his respective party.”
The statement continued: “…the Whip ensures that there are sufficient party members in the Chamber to support the party’s position and that MPs vote according to the party’s line. Occasionally, he may ‘lift the whip’ and allow MPs to vote according to their conscience.”