When politicians cross the line

(From left) WP Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera, People's Action Party MP Sin Boon Ann (Tampines GRC) and Former Speaker Tan Soo Khoon (East Coast GRC).
(From left) WP Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera, People's Action Party MP Sin Boon Ann (Tampines GRC) and Former Speaker Tan Soo Khoon (East Coast GRC).PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO/ALPHONSUS CHERN/BUSINESS TIMES

While rarely used, the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act introduced in 1962 has had one revision - in 1986 following several breaches of privilege by the late Workers' Party (WP) chief J.B. Jeyaretnam that same year.

The Anson MP was referred to the Committee of Privileges four times - once in 1982 and three times in 1986 - having accused the Government of tampering with the judiciary on multiple occasions, and the police of abusing their powers of detention.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 11, 2018, with the headline 'When politicians cross the line'. Print Edition | Subscribe