Apathy, disinterest or a case of empty heads

There appears to be a closure to the cleaner woman case against the PM on the requirements to call for an election when an MP vacated his seat during his term of his office. After a long wait and full of anxiety, the case ended like being doused with a pail of cold water. The Judge Pillai ruled that there was no need for the PM to call for a by election to fill an empty MP seat. It is the PM’s absolute discretion when to hold it and can actually delay and not holding it at all. And it seems that this is final and, other than getting the law amended, that’s it.

From a layman’s point of view, there appears to be many loopholes in the judge’s interpretation of the law. But layman’s opinion does not mean anything to the court. The thing is whether the legal profession see anything wrong with the judge’s interpretation of the law or fully agree that the brilliant judge’s ruling is clinically perfect, flawless? If this is the reason, then no one can find fault with the law and the legal fraternity. But if it is a case of apathy, disinterest, not my business, or full of empty heads, then it is a sad ending.

Nothing of this case was heard till this morning when Elgin Toh wrote his commentary in the ST. He dealt with the legal and political implications and consequences of the ruling. The ruling that the PM has absolute discretionary power when to hold a by election is as good as saying no by election, and no MP for the constituents if he so decided. Definitely this must not be the intention and spirit of the law. And political expediency would mean that the constituents may have to go about their affairs without an MP which is unsatisfactory and undemocratic.

The basis of a democratic system is to have an elected representative of the people to be in parliament to be their spokesperson, to speak on their behalf and to cast votes on their behalf. In reality the last bit is of course a myth as MPs normaly do not ask their constituents on how to vote. They vote according to the dictates of their parties.  But this must not rob the people of their right to have a MP of their choice in parliament. The ruling implies that a PM can deny the people this right, albeit indirectly and irresponsibly.

Then again, if the view of a lawyer MP is right, the election is to elect a govt, and when a govt is in place, having or not having an MP is superfluous, secondary, not necessary. Is this really the spirit and intention of the constitution on election laws?

Would there be further discussions from the elite and the brilliant and learned counsels trained in law, and politicians who believe in democracy and democratic processes on this matter? Getting the constitution amended to patch up this hole or anomaly is as good as fat hope under the current political climate.

The silence, the fait accompli, seems to suggest that this matter is closed, or not important or relevant to worth further discourse from our thinkers and elite. Hopefully Elgin Toh’s probing article would stimulate some interest and a new enlightenment in this election law, in the constitution and in practice.


Anonymous said...

Better vote in more Opposition MPs in GE 2016.
To back up the Hougang and Aljunied GRC.
Must double confirm Opposition presence in parliament.

Anonymous said...

Whoever the joker that keeps mentioning the 60/40 dilemma forgets that 40/60 also poses another set of dilemma

Moral of the story? In a tug of war, the strong wins. Always win!

Anonymous said...

The Pappies intend to hold on to power at all cost even though the people have spoken and make it very clear that they have to go as they have betrayed the peoples' trust in every way. It is the duty and responsibility of every one of the 40 percent of the labelled daft citizens to start going round every day and at all times right up to 2016 to convince the rest of the 60 percent Singaporeans that the Pappies have made grave mistakes and are dragging Singapore down the path of misery and destruction.

It is imperative that all opposition parties must either cooperate to unseat the Pappies or be picked up one by one by the Pappies to be destroyed. If that happens it will be a tragedy for Singapore. So, wake up opposition leaders, either cooperate or wait to die. There is no better times to unseat the Pappies than in the propitious year of 2016. It is now or never.

Eagles Eye

Anonymous said...

No need to convince everybody.

Just convince 60% of your friends & relatives who voted PAP.

Anonymous said...


Matilah_Singapura said...

Singapore is a REPUBLIC, not a DIRECT democracy.

Which means the people can only express THROUGH their elected representatives, and the elected representatives have some "LEEway" to disagree with, and disregard the majority opinion, and exercise his/her own conscience when making a decision and taking action.

Also to bear in mind: Singapore's republican-democracy is GUIDED by the government. i.e. the people do not have THE RIGHT to unilaterally call the shots. The government can, has, will and continue to intervene if it deems the will of the people is 'flawed'.

Lucky, this bullshhit doesn't adversely affect me ;-) In fact, anything to make a better HOTEL is OK by me.

Got Thomas Jefferson?

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I believe the PAP was quite confident of taking back Hougang by deciding to call the last by-election, given the arguments that the PM can refuse to call one. Many were hesitant to bet on WP retaining that seat at that time. That was why PM decided to go ahead. But they forgot one thing. Never try to second guess what is on the minds of Hougangers.

Anonymous said...

Matilah should be in parliament. We need someone who talks with a banana in his mouth.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

With banana in his mouth how is he going to talk? Oh I forgot, he got another hole.

Anonymous said...

Asshole goes bananas talk cock sing song

Matilah_Singapura said...

I prefer to treat Singapore as my personal, suka-suka, I-don't-give-a-fuck, HOTEL.

As far as I'm concerned, the "management" is doing just fine. As long as I can have a spectacular time, fuck everyone else ;-)

Got self-interest?