Parliament speakership has long been a part-time post

Mr Cheng Shoong Tat suggests the speakership of Parliament should be made a full-time-only appointment and that Speakers should be barred from taking up any private-sector appointments (Post of Parliament Speaker should be full-time; April 7).

First, the speakership has long been a part-time appointment since Parliament does not sit every day of the month.

Second, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin is not the first Speaker to assume private-sector appointments. Almost every Speaker since Mr E.W. Barker in 1963-64 has done so.

There is nothing wrong in principle with the Speaker assuming such appointments, so long as the roles do not pose conflicts of interest.

No such conflict has arisen over almost 60 years.

Chang Li Lin (Ms)

Press Secretary to Prime Minister

Prime Minister's Office

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2018, with the headline 'Parliament speakership has long been a part-time post'. Print Edition | Subscribe