A resident of Hougang Mrs Vellama has filed an affidavit in the High Court on Friday requesting it to compel Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to call for a by-election in Hougang.
The single seat of Hougang is now vacant after its ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong was sacked from the party two weeks ago for his failure to address allegations surrounding his alleged multiple extra-marital affairs with married women, including a neighbor from China.
Prime Minister Lee had earlier said that he would need to consider the matter carefully as there is a lot on the national agenda right now.
Represented by her lawyer M Ravi, Mrs Vellama wrote it is ‘not enough’ that the services of Mr Yaw are currently being ‘substituted’ by WP MPs from Aljunied GRC as she did not vote for them.
She also asked the reason for PM Lee taking so long to call for a by-election:
“Why is it taking so long for the PM to decide on this?…Why is it not urgent that we need a representative? I need these answers. These sentiments are equally shared by other housewives I meet at the wet market and grocery shops at Hougang.”
The affidavit ended by calling on the High Court to ‘order’ PM Lee to call for a by-election in Hougang:
“I hope this Honorable Court will clarify the law and redress my grievances, and order that the PM has no choice but to hold a by-election in Hougang within three months or within such reasonable time as this Honorable Court deems fit, and to hold the PM to the fullest accountability before the Constitution.”
Under the Constitution, though a by-election must be called when a seat of a single member constituency becomes vacant for whatever reasons, there is no fixed timeline stipulated during which it must be held.
In 2008, then Nominated MP Professor Thio Li-Ann started a motion in parliament proposing a three-month timeline to call for a by-election. Both WP MPs Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim voted against the motion together with the PAP MPs.