WP's Sylvia Lim to speak about timing of reserved election in Parliament

The adjournment motion to speak on the presidential election filed by WP chairman Sylvia Lim was selected for the Oct 3 Parliament sitting.
The adjournment motion to speak on the presidential election filed by WP chairman Sylvia Lim was selected for the Oct 3 Parliament sitting.PHOTO: GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party MP Sylvia Lim will speak on the reserved presidential election during Tuesday's (Oct 3) Parliament sitting, after her adjournment motion on the topic was picked in a ballot.

The ballot on Monday was conducted by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and witnessed by Ms Lim.

Her motion, "Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong for Reserved Presidential Election - Policy Decision or Legal Question", has to do with the timing of the recent reserved election.

The election was reserved for candidates from the Malay community as five terms have passed without a president from the community.

Madam Halimah Yacob won in a walkover last month as two other candidates did not meet eligibility criteria.

In reserving the election, the Government had started its count from the second term of Mr Wee.

Ms Lim's earlier failed attempts to raise the issue through an adjournment motion - which allows MPs to speak for 20 minutes on any topic - had led to accusations of filibustering.

She had filed her motion twice and both times it was not picked in a ballot.

This sparked criticism by some people, who accused other MPs who had filed adjournment motions of having done so just to block Ms Lim.

 

At each Parliament sitting, there is only one slot for MPs to bring up topics through an adjournment motion.

Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair, who was among the MPs competing for the same slot, dismissed the accusations as "absurd".

In a letter to The Straits Times Forum Page on Monday, he said he had first filed his adjournment motion on the future of national service in July and had refiled it each time it was not picked in a ballot.

Mr Tan said on Monday, after announcing that Ms Lim's motion was picked, that Mr Nair's motion "would have to be deferred again for the fourth time".

He added: "It is important to note that apart from the adjournment motion, we also do have a Private Member's Motion that doesn't require it to be balloted... There are various platforms for every individual MPs to surface issues that concern them. Do make full use of these opportunities."