A by-election afoot again! And the cause of it? Sex. Singapore is beginning to look like a sleazy place for people in high err, places.
Mr Michael Palmer, erstwhile MP for Punggol East, has suddenly and unexpectedly resigned both his Parliamentary seat and his membership of the PAP. What triggered this is a reportedly illicit sexual affair he was having with a female (what else) member of the Pasir-Punggol GRC office. The end came about as swiftly as it was sudden. The talk on the streets, of course, is when, and not if, the by-election will be held. I say when because of the hooha over a similar incident at Hougang not too long ago. The drama then was that a citizen sued the PM for his ambiguous stance on the need for a by-election. It was eventually held, with the Workers Party retaining its seat in Parliament. Since there is a precedent, it will be very difficult for the government to deny the people of Punggol East of proper representation.
What's that again? The government has more important things to take care of? National issues and the budget next year? The same old excuse. Surely they can be more original and not treat its citizens like children. There will ALWAYS be national issues to handle, and the budget is an annual affair. I assume that the process is already in place that it does not require resources that is not already deployed for this purpose? So this reason, really, cuts no ice. A simple reply, that the government will consider a by-election, without going into details, would have sufficed. I wonder why, with the benefit of hindsight and the experience gained not too long ago, that they are repeating the same misstep in its stance and communications with the people of Singapore?
Which of the Opposition Parties will throw their hats in the ring? Will more than one contest the ward, split the vote and hand the ward back to the ruling PAP? When will the by-election be held? After Chinese New Year? After the Budget announcement, which may have a sweetening effect? The country waits with bated breadth.