Singapore – Speaker of Parliament nominee Tan Chuan-Jin has given a preview before the commencement of the 14th term of the House, noting it would be the first time it would take place in two locations.
Mr Tan took to Facebook on Friday (Aug 21) to give the public a tour and quick history lesson as he visited one of the opening locations, the former Parliament House, which is now known as The Arts House.
“For the first time, the opening of Parliament will take place in two locations, Parliament and the old Parliament House!,” said Mr Tan. He noted that due to safe distancing measures and the number of attendees, one venue would not have safely sufficed.
During the visit to The Arts House (the complementary venue was abuzz with activity), Mr Tan took a selfie with a screen that would show the live proceedings from the new Parliament House. “This is what will be viewed by half our members who will be here during the swearing-in,” he noted.
He mentioned that the old main Table of the House (circa 1955) had been brought back and placed in its original spot. “Way back, we almost didn’t keep it when we shifted to the new Parliament. Thankfully we did and kept it in the public hearing room all this while.”
“This is a handsome building in many ways and incredibly rich in history,” he noted. “It was inspiring to see the nameplates of the various Ministers who had once debated from those very seats … didn’t dare sit in any!” added Mr Tan. He included a photo of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s seat when he was Prime Minister.
Mr Tan also had a photograph of the room in which the late Mr Lee had in 1958 met an official of the Malayan Communist Party known as The Plen. The latter, the late Mr Fong Chong Pik, had tried negotiating with Mr Lee on a possible united front against the British in the late 1950s.
“Even as we reminisce and recall the past, we also need to remember that we are also creating history for future generations as we deal with the issues of the day and seek to manage the Covid-19 situation,” said Mr Tan.
The 14th term of Parliament will commence on Monday (Aug 24).
For the first time, the opening of Parliament will take place in two locations, Parliament and the old Parliament House!…