Dear All Singapore Stuff,

Former MP for Punggol East, Ms Lee Li Lian, had lost her seat in last year’s general elections to the PAP challenger Mr Charles Chong. As she had lost by the closest margin among opposition candidates, she was declared elected as a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) by the Returning Officer.

However, Ms Lee Li Lian had informed the media that she would reject the NCMP seat shortly after losing. She said that she did not want to be a NCMP because the NCMP role is best suited for the new opposition candidates who has much to benefit from the parliamentary experience, and does not suit a losing incumbent MP. She added that her party has good candidates who can contribute in parliament.

She also said that she had resigned from her job after becoming MP for Punggol East in 2013, so that she could serve her residents better. “However, unlike for an MP, it is not possible to be a full-time NCMP,” she had said.

Subsequently, the WP’s leadership unanimously supported her choice and nominated NUS sociologist, Associate Professor Daniel Goh to be her replacement as NCMP. He was among the candidates in the WP’s East Coast team that lost with 39.3% of the votes – the third best losing percentage for the opposition.

Another member of the East Coast team, consultancy firm chief executive Leon Perera, had already been sworn in as NCMP, along with fellow WP candidate and lawyer Dennis Tan, who garnered 42.5 per cent of votes in Fengshan SMC.

Leader of the House Grace Fu on Sunday said that the Workers’ Party will have to move a motion in Parliament on their own, if they want to propose an alternative candidate for the vacant Non-Constituency MP seat.

Minister Fu also slammed WP’s Lee Li Lian for vacating the seat. “Like many of her constituents, I learnt first from the media and later from her absence from the opening of the Parliament that she is not intending to assume the NCMP seat, despite having campaigned hard to persuade voters to elect her to a seat in the Parliament.” Ms Fu also added that the 15,801 residents of Punggol East who had voted for their former MP Ms Lee “would want to understand the basis of her decision”.

Parliament resumes next week with the debate on the President’s Address.

A.S.S. Contributor

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