PM Lee blames Workers Party for causing seat of Hougang to be vacant
Posted by temasektimes on March 10, 2012
The seat of Hougang fell vacant after its ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong was sacked from the party for his failure to address allegations over his alleged extra-marital affairs with multiple married women.
In response to a question by PAP MP Christopher De Souza if a by-election would be called in Hougang soon, PM Lee recalled that Article 49 of the Constitution states that when a seat falls vacant, it shall be filled by election. However, the timing of the by-election is at the discretion of the prime minister.
As for the timing, PM Lee said he will take into account all relevant factors, including the well-being of Hougang residents, issues on the national agenda, as well as the international backdrop which affects Singapore’s prosperity and security which prompted a question from WP Chairman Sylvia Lim:
“Does prime minister not agree that with the Hougang SMC being vacant, there is actually an under-representation of the Hougang voters in this House?”
PM Lee replied that he did not know if there is a under-representation of the interests of Hougang voters as a result of the seat being vacant, but if there is an issue, the WP should be held liable for it:
“If that is an issue, I would have thought it is something which the Workers’ Party would have considered before deciding to expel Mr Yaw Shin Leong… So if we are in this situation today, it is because the Workers’ Party has caused this situation to happen knowing the consequences.”
As a result of Mr Yaw’s expulsion, there is no full-time MP in Hougang to serve the residents causing many of them to turn to PAP grassroots adviser for Hougang Mr Desmond Choo for assistance instead.