TL;DR – Then one could also say WP was trying to block Vikram Nair from raising his motion?
Workers’ Party’s Sylvia Lim had tried again to raise the issue of the elected presidency in the Parliament. Her attempt, unfortunately, failed.
Parliament received a total of three bids at the close of the deadline for adjournment motions for the sitting next Monday (2 Oct):
- Ms Lim’s motion on Elected Presidency,
- Dr Intan’s motion on preserving the heritage and green spaces in Jalan Kayu,
- Mr Vikram Nair’s on National Service.
Only one can be selected. So there was a process of balloting that took place on Tuesday (26 Sep). The ballot was conducted by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and witnessed by Ms Lim.
Ms Lim’s adjournment motion was not selected in the ballot. Dr Intan’s motion was selected.
Did PAP block WP?
This led to some people claiming that WP was blocked from raising the motion on the Elected Presidency. Alternative news site, The Independent Singapore (TISG), was one of those making those claims. TISG said:
“Just like the last time the WP was blocked from raising the motion, two competing bids were suddenly filed before the WP could speak on the matter”
Wow. Was the PAP really so terrible?
Did they really “suddenly” file competing bids just to block the WP from speaking on the matter?
No, they didn’t.
Let’s examine the facts.
So according to Speaker Tan, this is the timeline.
- Mr Murali and Mr Nair had already filed adjournment motions for the sitting on 1 August. Both were unsuccessful in balloting for the sitting on 1 August. So their motions were rolled over to be considered for the sitting on 11 September.
- On 29 August, Ms Lim filed her adjournment motion. So the three motions were put to a ballot. Mr Murali’s motion was picked in a ballot.
Let’s think about it.
Both the motions that were competing with Ms Lim’s motion were originally filed for the sitting on 1 August. They weren’t “suddenly” filed as TISG claimed.
If we were to say that WP was blocked from raising their motion, then we can equally say that Ms Lim and Mr Murali “blocked” Mr Nair from raising his motion. Right??
As for the latest round of balloting on Monday, again, Mr Nair didn’t “suddenly” file his motion. It was rolled over from the previous round.
Yes, there was an additional motion from Dr Intan.
Only WP is allowed to file adjournment motions? No one else can? Surely that cannot be the case.
So Ms Lim suay suay lost the ballot twice. But still not as bad as Mr Nair. He suay suay suay lost the ballot three times!
So why did TISG make those claims?
So how can TISG claim in an article published on 27 September, a day after Speaker Tan put up his post, that PAP “suddenly” filed motions to block Ms Lim?
We can think of two possibilities.
First, shoddy standards, in that TISG didn’t do their research before publishing. They didn’t read what Speaker Tan posted. And they just assumed, without fact checking, that PAP “suddenly” filed their motions in both incidents.
Second, TISG was blatantly lying with the intent to mislead people. We hope this was not the case.
We hope the reality is that this was just an oversight or negligence on TISG’s part. Then perhaps a clarification post should surface soon.
By the way, this is not the first time TISG has done something like this (see here and here), will it be the last?