Pritam Singh

SINGAPORE: Workers’ Party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh made the case for more WP Members of Parliament, underlining that in carrying out changes to the highest law in the land, the Constitution, numbers count.

This was part of the speech made by Mr Singh on April 21, 2023.


LO Pritam Singh on “Why we need more WP Mps in Parliament”. #wpsg #pritamsingh #sgparliament #makeyourvotecount #sgnews

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The Leader of the Opposition explained that the Constitution may be amended only if at least two-thirds of the MPs agree. And if any party that has over two-thirds of the seats wants to change the Constitution, it can easily do so.

He added that the ruling People’s Action Party does not just have a two-thirds majority but a super-majority of over 75 per cent of the seats.

“We are not playing masak-masak when we make changes to the Constitution – these are serious matters involving the lives of Singaporeans to a very acute degree. In order to pass a constitutional amendment with a 2/3 majority, the PAP government needs 63 votes in the House. The PAP has 83 MPs today. The PAP can even change the entire Constitution at one go, with 20 PAP MPs to spare.”

Mr Singh then went on to recount how on March 21, amendments to the Constitution were passed.

“Some of the changes included amendments to Article 9 that sought to ensure that laws relating to the misuse of drugs that authorise the arrest and detention of any person for treatment and rehabilitation, remain valid under the Constitution. A separate change involved the introduction of a legal mechanism to reduce the balance of the Contingencies Fund so as to maintain discipline in how the Government manages its finances,” he explained.

But what many don’t know is that night, there were only 67 MPs present in the House, which included seven WP MPs.

“If all the Workers’ Party MPs had not been present in the House at the time of that vote, the Constitution could not have been amended as sought by the PAP as only 60 PAP MPs were present,” said Mr Singh.

He underlined that the WP’s “intention is not to block all changes to the Constitution proposed by a PAP Government. Far from it.

“If Constitutional amendments are in the interests of our people, we will support them. But if we assess that proposed changes to the Constitution are detrimental to Singapore and Singaporeans, we will speak against them and vote against them,” he said.


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