Singapore – People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Murali Pillai says a Parliament filled with politicians with no other jobs would have the same blind spots. He made the remark in response to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Dr Chee Soon Juan questioning whether an MP who also had a full-time job would be able to serve residents effectively.
The two men are facing off in Bukit Batok Single-Member Constituency in the elections on July 10.
According to a channelnewsasia.com report, Mr Murali told reporters on Wednesday (July 1) that there exists the same predicament politicians face with or without a full-time job.
“Imagine a Parliament filled with just full-time politicians. The Parliament will have politicians with the same blind spot,” he said. “And that’s why over the years, we have stuck to the policy of drawing into Parliament people from different backgrounds.”
Mr Murali has experience as a lawyer, which allows him to address legislative Bills.
Lapses in Bukit Batok under Mr Murali as MP
Dr Chee had also taken to Facebook to question Mr Murali’s performance as MP for Bukit Batok, alleging the latter had neglected his duties to the residents. Several upgrading projects had been delayed and there had been safety lapses in the constituency. Dr Chee asked if Mr Murali was aware of them. “I’ve reviewed the town council’s statement, and I note there were some shortcomings. But the nature of shortcomings are not systemic,” responded Mr Murali. “I would also add that as far as the shortcomings are concerned, certainly, action will be taken in relation to the appropriate officer, so that we will make sure that the appropriate level of services are continually delivered.”
Members of the online community agreed with Dr Chee’s statement, noting that a “part-time” MP would pose problems such as conflicts of interest.
Facebook user Samuel Ho Chuan Jie was in favour of full-time MPs.
Furthermore, quite a few people were not satisfied with Mr Murali’s response regarding the lapses in Bukit Batok.
Others expressed support for Dr Chee and urged the public to vote wisely as this would be the second time the two men are contesting in the same constituency. Mr Murali received 61.2 per cent of the vote and Dr Chee 38.8 per cent in a by-election in Bukit Batok in 2016.