In Parliament, the opposition Workers’ Party’s Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), questioned what would happen if a minority member of a GRC stepped down to run for president.
As Madam Halimah Yacob has been widely tipped to be a potential candidate for the upcoming presidential election, Mr Singh asked would happen to “the very existence of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, which by law requires a Malay MP as one of its political representatives in Parliament”?
In response, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, declared that, “If a minority candidate leaves his group representation constituency (GRC), a by-election will not be called”.
Mr Chan added that the GRC system, which has been in place since 1988, makes it compulsory to include at least one member of a minority race in each team.
This was to ensure enough minority members in the House. This, Mr Chan said, had been achieved over the years.
Secondly, this was to ensure “that we will all, regardless of party lines, campaign on the basis that we are all Singaporeans, that we will not use race, language or religion for political reasons”, Mr Chan said.
Elected members are expected to serve all residents, regardless of race, language and religion as well.
These key goals would not be affected if one member of the GRC left, Mr Chan added.