Debate on NCMPs: What they said

Mr Charles Chong
Mr Charles Chong
Ms Lee Bee Wah
Ms Lee Bee Wah
Ms Sylvia Lim
Ms Sylvia Lim
Mr Png Eng Huat
Mr Png Eng Huat
Mr Leon Perera
Mr Leon Perera

MR CHARLES CHONG (PUNGGOL EAST)

"The practice of transferring an NCMP seat to a candidate in a different constituency is not sound in principle. It would be like allowing me, after having won the election in Punggol East, to decline my seat in Parliament and instead pass it on to the PAP candidate in Aljunied GRC or Hougang SMC.

This is not something we permit for constituency MPs. We need to review whether this is something which makes sense for NCMPs. I would like the WP to clarify their position. It would be useful to understand if the WP would support the transfer if the next best loser was a candidate from another opposition party."


MS LEE BEE WAH (NEE SOON GRC)

"This system should not degenerate into a warped system of proportional representation, where the party with the second highest number of votes can nominate their members into Parliament. Is this still consistent with the spirit of our Constitution?

The vote share of the WP's candidate in Punggol East is almost 9 per cent higher than its candidate in East Coast GRC. Yet, the WP is suggesting she give up her seat to their candidate in East Coast. Is this fair to voters in Punggol East? The WP claims they want to represent Singaporeans. But does their motion really respect the wishes of the electorate?"


MS SYLVIA LIM (ALJUNIED GRC)

"Entrenching the NCMP scheme as good politics sends the wrong signal... The most effective check on the Government is the prospect and, in fact, actual loss of seats... Do we want a system where opposition MPs only come to Parliament to debate? If opposition MPs do not manage constituencies, they will not be able to demonstrate that they, too, were up to the task of representing the constituents, building vibrant communities, and, yes, running the town councils."


MR PNG ENG HUAT (HOUGANG)

"The distribution of influence and power in this House is so lopsided that the ruling party can dictate the number of NCMP seats it allows... It has given us three (and says) it is the WP that created the vacancy... I agree. But the PAP Government also enacted laws for such vacancies to be filled in the event a candidate does not wish to take up the NCMP seat... What the WP is doing is to implement what is in the Parliamentary Elections Act.


MR LEON PERERA (WP NCMP)

"It has been put across that the PAP does not stand to benefit from the scheme. But I do see a benefit: It allows the PAP to send a strong message to Singaporeans that you do not need to vote for any party (other) than PAP. You should, you ought, you can and you must return 100 per cent of elected MP seats to the PAP and you should relegate opposition parties to NCMP seats. But does it benefit Singapore? I'm not so sure."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2016, with the headline 'Debate on NCMPs: What they said'. Print Edition | Subscribe