Referring to the opposition motion on the criminal justice system in Parliament last Wednesday (Nov 4), the Workers’ Party (WP) said that after Murali Pillai moved his amendment to the motion, Sylvia Lim did touch on the amendments in her round-up speech.
The WP clarified their stance on the issue in a Facebook post on Thursday (Nov 12).
Following the amendment of the opposition motion on the criminal justice system in Parliament last Wednesday (Nov 4), the Speaker had invited all MPs to speak on the motion but none of the opposition MPs did so. This is mentioned in a Facebook post on Saturday (Nov 7) by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah.
Ms Rajah said in her post: “After all the speeches were delivered (except for mine, and Ms Lim’s rounding up speech) it was evident that a wide ranging root and branch review of the justice system was not necessary. As such, Mr Murali Pillai proposed a few amendments to the motion, to better reflect the actual course and substance of the debate. See the red infographic. Surely this was a more constructive course of action than simply rejecting the WP’s motion altogether.”
She added: “Were the WP MPs given a chance to debate the amendments? Yes, they were. Speaker invited all MPs to speak on the amendment. None of the opposition MPs did so.”
Ms Rajah, in her Facebook post also wrote: “Even after the motion was amended, as it was not clear if Ms Sylvia Lim had wanted to speak on the amendment, I held back delivering my speech and requested Mr Speaker to first clarify with Ms Lim if she had wanted to speak on the amendment. Ms Lim stated that she only wanted to speak to close the debate.”
Responding to the series of events, the Workers’ Party wrote that the WP Chair and MP Ms Lim did indeed explain why the party could not support the PAP’s proposed amendment.
“She stated that the amendments had the effect of not acknowledging the system’s shortcomings and not committing to a review of the justice system. These two aspects were essential to the original motion filed by her, she pointed out”, the WP added in their Facebook post.
In their post, the WP also noted that at 11.38 pm, after all the other MPs had spoken on the motion, Ms Lim rose to wrap up the debate on “Justice For All” and address People’s Action Party MP Murali Pillai’s (Bukit Batok SMC) proposed amendments.
Ms Lim said: “We cannot accept the amendments proposed because they imply that there are no shortcomings in the system and that there will be no review of the system. As these are key aspects of our original Motion, we are unable to support the amended Motion”.
“It is sad that after all the points made today on where improvements can be made or, in face, are due, the Government does not even accept that the system has any shortcomings. I believe this is an opportunity to review the justice system with an open mind”, Ms Lim said. /TISG