Quote of the Day – Justice Philip Pillai

"There is no requirement in the Constitution to call elections to fill elected Member vacancies," - Justice Philip Pillai

The much awaited decision of the Vellama Muthu versus the PM case is out. And it is now clear, a ruling by a high court judge, that according to the Constitution, there is no need to fill the vacancies of a constituency if it is empty for whatever reasons. And the judge also ruled that the PM has absolute discretion whether to call an election to fill the vacancy of an elected Member.

Is that the final answer? Apparently yes. Can make a call for help? An appeal against this interpretation of the law? I don’t think there will be any other interpretation unless the Constitution is amended. So the people would now have to live with a constituency without an elected MP if the bugger buzzed off during his term of office for some reasons until the PM decided otherwise.

That must be the intention of the Constitution and must be good for the people. Constituents who go voting must now think doubly hard when they go to the poll. They must check the health and conduct of the candidate before voting just in case the bugger mati half way or kenna exposed for something and force to resign. Then they can be left with no MP throughout the term.

The legislators must have seriously thought through this before writing the law into the Constitution, and this is good for the people and country. And technically if after 3 days of an election, an MP is knocked out for some reasons, just too bad. Under the Constitution and under this latest judicial interpretation, it is possible to have no MP to serve the constituents.


Anonymous said...

In the USA, the process is very clear.

The Supreme Court of USA does NOT hold itself tied to previous Supreme Court rulings.
Meaning, the Supreme Court is allowed to change its mind in the future.

I'm not sure if this is the case with Singapore's High Court rulings. i.e.
Can a High Court ruling be overturned?



Anonymous said...

Why don't AGC come up and explain the law earlier rather than wasting people's time. The time lapse could be interpreted as AGC is not clear itself initially.

patriot said...

Thought Vellama Muthu and her Lawyer Ravi were in Court to challenge the validity of the By-election Law.
if changes on it are necessary to make it more equitable.


Anonymous said...

[You Can Fool Some Of The People...]

"Fool You All For 47 years"
8/02/2012 1:44 AM

Now that you know my son, the PM has 'unfettered decision' to call a by-election as/when he feels like it, remember come Aug 9, hands on your heart with your third finger sticking out when you recite the "aspirational" national pledge that says "..to build a demoncratic society based on blah blah blah...".

In short, if there are sheeps to shizzle, yup, you'll find them all here. Hard truths, I have always said.

Remember to salute your north korean comrades as we join them in the rank as a dictator country.

Lee Con You


Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha!
Aug 9 is the date when you see a lot of sheeple in one place.

Anonymous said...

Educated is no guarantee one is not stupid or corrupt. Uneducated does not mean one is stupid or corrupt either.

Why then do we look up to educated people to run our lives?

Anonymous said...

Reasoning very similar to no one is allowed within a 200m radius. But inside the counting station is not within the 200m radius.

Anonymous said...

Or screwing an almost 18 yrs old prostitute is a crime when sex above 16 yrs ok is permissible

Anonymous said...

The judges in Singapore have too much power,I suppose this is one area that coming leaders would have to consider.

Anonymous said...

How come I find the judges in Sin are not as powerful as You said and they should be?

Anonymous said...

If this is the interpretation, does it mean that for some reasons, if 60% of the mp resign quit or mati, the pm can refuse by election and 60% of the people who are majority can go without representation? Red bean help me out here

Anonymous said...

Redbean and Judges are powerless.
Only the Prime Minister can help.

Anonymous said...

When "shall" is used, is it not our common understanding that we expect whatever it is to be done within what is referred to as a "reasonable" period of time ?

So in the context of a bye-election, it surely means it has to be held within a period reasonably expected so as not to result in the interests of anyone concerned (voters in this case) are not in any way compromised ?

Yet the judge is instead telling us that this reasonable period of time expected has no meaning in the word "shall" and it can mean anything up to 4 years or nothing ?

Sure or not he is not bluffing us ?

Anonymous said...

Is it not our common understanding understanding that whenever "shall" is used, it is to be expected that whatever it is has to take place within a 'reasonable' period of time just like when one shall call the police if one were to witness any criminal offence being committed cannot later argue that 'shall' can mean anytime he feels like it to report to the police.

So in the context of a by-election, how can the Minister suka suka call for one anytime he wishes ? Is it not a legal principle that we often have to consider what is known as a degree of 'reasonableness' in interpreting our laws ?

Sure or not nobody is not bluffing us or taking us as idiots ?

Anonymous said...

Haha, some said there is a respectable judge similar to Paukong in Sin. Who is that and where is he ?

Skippy said...

This is all very unsurprising, and reminds us of the other election decision where it was determined that an unauthorised person is not within 100 metres of a polling station if he (since it was a he in that case) is INSIDE the polling station.

Which reminds us of the definition of "deliberation" in Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary:

Deliberation, n. The act of determining which side one's bread is buttered on.

Anonymous said...

So, we take it that "reasonable" time means "never, if you don't feel like it". Brilliant, this will be so helpful in our everyday lives. For instance:

"Sure honey, I'll be back from the pub after a reasonable time".

"OK boss, that project will be on your desk in a reasonable time. I promise!"

"Thank you subordinate, and you have my word that your salary increment will be decided in a reasonable time too!"

Anonymous said...

Justice Philip Pillai's decision is absolutely clear.
The Singapore Courts can and will deny citizens the fundamental right to vote in wards left vacant by an elected MP in a parliamentary elections
The Singapore Courts do not give a damn if your lifts are not working,your drains are clogged,your garbage is not cleared etc in an unrepresented ward.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I still think this is a brilliant interpretation of the Constitution from a brilliant judge. Potential to be the next Chief Justice. Akan datang.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

And welcome to the blog, Skippy.

Anonymous said...

Justice Philip Pillai made better judgment than our CJ.

Anonymous said...

This is a National disgrace.

At least now the world can see Singapore for what it stands.

Pauli said...

Justice Philip Pillai made better judgment than our CJ.

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