That was what he said in Parliament when asked by Christopher de Souza. So, there will be a by election but the timing will have to wait as Hsien Loong said, ‘In deciding on the timing, I will take into account all relevant factors, including the well being of Hougang residents, issues on the national agenda, as well as the international backdrop which affects our prosperity and security.’
A by election is not so simple and it is of utmost importance even if the govt has already be elected. Or maybe not to some as the main purpose of an election is to elect a govt and not an MP to serve the local residents. Everyone claimed to know the law and he is right. Got law like that one meh, everyone is right?
Let’s look at some of these relevant factors as pointed out by Hsien Loong. Firstly, the well being of Hougang residents. Assuming that this is equally important as the election of a govt. If not, then once a govt is elected, no MP never mind. Are the residents best served by an MP or by two non MPs of two opposition camps? At the moment, though there is no MP, there is Desmond Choo of PAP and the whole of the WP helping the Hougang residents. I think this is far better than being served by one MP. On this point, got or no by election, not important. It is better not to have a by election with so many eager beaver trying to help. Call it voluntary self help. No representation in parliament not really important. What more if MPs got more important things to do than attending parliament.
The second point is national agenda. Now what is this national agenda? Could it be the economy, security or what? I am clueless, no idea at all, so cannot make any reasonable statement on this. Could it be the population size not settle yet, the unhappiness over foreign talents, unhappiness over scholarship for foreigners, transportation or cost of living or, really no idea.
The third point is the international backdrop that affects our prosperity and security. Wah lan, everything under the sky can come under these two motherhood terms. So, is there anything affecting our prosperity and security at the moment? The Americans are saying the South China Sea area very dangerous and the housewife in Washington is saying that China does not know how to be a super power. In other words the Americans are telling the Chinese to get lost and they are taking over as the most responsible superpower and knows exactly how a super power should behave, ie, create more tension and start more wars.
On this point alone, the region is getting more unstable and our security will definitely be affected. And the Americans are plotting to have a trade war with China which means our prosperity too may be hit. I think better don’t call for a by election just yet and wait until China and the US agree to sleep together and make love.
Of the three relevant factors, two factors say no to holding a by election. The Hougang residents are better served now without an MP. And our prosperity and security are entering a troublesome phase and need special attention. The by election can wait.
As for the other factor of national agenda, I am not sure what it is but since two out of three factors are not in favour of a by election immediately, it is unlikely for a by election to be called soon even if Hsien Loong wants to call one. This is my assessment of the situation.
Another point is that the missing MP problem is created by the WP. So it is the WP problem and the WP must be solely responsible and be blamed for it. If no by election, cannot blame the ruling govt. Stretching this kind of argument a little, what if an MP is struck by lightning while playing golf, touch wood, it becomes an act of God. So can rightly put the blame on God and no need to call by election also? This kind of thinking and argument very difficult to understand in politics. As they say, there is no right and wrong answer.