I refer to the article “Workers’ Party fails in second attempt to raise issue of reserved election in Parliament” (Straits Times, Sep 26).

It states that “The Worker’s Party (WP) has failed again in its bid to raise the issue of the elected presidency in Parliament.

An adjournment motion on the topic, filed by WP chairman and Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim, was not selected in a ballot for the coming Parliament sitting on Monday.

But she may still have a chance to speak on the timing of the reserved presidential election if the House sits for a second day, as another ballot will be held.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the WP said Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Intan Azura and Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair had also filed adjournment motions.

At the ballot on Tuesday, conducted by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and witnessed by Ms Lim, Dr Intan’s topic – “Preserving Green Space and Heritage in Jalan Kayu Constituency” – was chosen.

This was Ms Lim’s second bid to speak on “Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong for Reserved Presidential Election – Policy Decision or Legal Question”.

She had also filed the same adjournment motion for the Sept 11 Parliament sitting but it was not picked in a ballot. Two days after the sitting, Madam Halimah Yacob was declared the winner in a walkover at the presidential election.”

Do the Parliaments of other countries operate like Singapore’s?

At this rate, the WP’s speaking on the elected presidency may never happen.

Whilst I am not familiar with the rules and procedures of Parliament – I would like to ask as to whether it is possible for all six WP MPs to file different adjournment motions on the elected presidency, so as to get a better chance in the ballot.

For example, the six could be:

… counting of the elected presidents

… changing the eligibility criteria

… not accepting the commission’s recommendation for the speaker to have at least six years in office

… why the new rules that the names of the candidates who failed to qualify would be secret as well as the reasons for disqualification “secret” too – may never have been debated in Parliament or reported in the media

… how many Malays qualify to stand

… why no election rallies for the presidential elections, from this election onwards

Also, would it be possible for the WP to file an adjournment motion at the last minute, so that there may not be enough time for other motions to be filed.

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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