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Marsiling folk need an elected MP

Although there is no legal requirement for a by-election when an MP leaves a group representation constituency, or GRC, it makes sense to have one (Halimah resigns from political and party posts; Aug 8).

Different constituencies make up a GRC, with each MP accountable to the residents in a certain area under his care.

In Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, for instance, Madam Halimah Yacob was in charge of Marsiling; Mr Lawrence Wong, of Limbang; Mr Alex Yam, of Yew Tee; and Mr Ong Teng Koon, of Woodgrove.

With the departure of Madam Halimah, the residents of Marsiling need another elected MP to look after their welfare, and not a "borrowed" MP who may not be as dedicated or may be unable to be as committed.

There is no need for the remaining MPs to resign, or to hold a by-election for the entire GRC. Rather, there can be a by-election just for the vacant role in the Marsiling constituency.

This is only fair to the voters of Marsiling.

This can also be a chance for the PAP to look for other people of ministerial or leadership calibre.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 03, 2017, with the headline 'Marsiling folk need an elected MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe