SDP said it is “troubling” that the Court of Appeal has dismissed Dr Wong Souk Yee’s appeal against the High Court’s decision not to compel a by-election in Marsiling Yew Tee GRC.
They said that this decision “whittles down yet more rights of Singaporean citizens – the present one being the right to replace an MP who has resigned with another elected one”.
To cut long story short, almost 2 years ago, former PAP MP for Marsiling Yew Tee GRC Halimah Yacob resigned to run for President in September 2017. She eventually won without a fight, and her MP seat in Marsiling Yew Tee GRC has been vacant since.
About 4 – 5 months after the Presidential Elections, SDP and Dr Wong, the party’s assistant treasurer-cum-resident of the GRC, filed for a legal challenge to call for the remaining 3 MPs of Marsiling Yew Tee GRC to vacate their spots and a by-election for the close to 108,000 voters of the GRC be held.
This is even though these 3 MPs have no intention to quit, and PAP had deployed Zaqy Mohamad, an MP for nearby Choa Chu Kang GRC, to take care of Halimah’s previous ward, in addition to his own GRC duties.
Dr Wong’s application was earlier dismissed by the High Court in April 2018. But Dr Wong – who was also part of the SDP team that stood for election at the Marsiling Yew Tee GRC in 2015 – appealed again; but her appeal was dismissed last week.
Rather than wasting taxpayers’ money by challenging the case again and again, and on a topic that is not on most people’s minds (other than SDP supporters, perhaps?), I’d like to humbly suggest that SDP and Dr Wong devote more time and efforts towards a better understanding of what the ground really wants.
SDP wrote on its website that “Singaporeans should be able to expect that each and every MP who vacates his or her seat should be replaced by an election. This is the bedrock upon which democracy is built.”
“The SDP will discuss with Dr Wong on how to proceed. The matter is too important for our nation’s future not to be given serious consideration.”
Does SDP really think that Singaporeans prefer to have their lives disrupted when they don’t have to? For the past 2 years, it seems to most that it’s only SDP and Dr Wong who have the wishful thinking that holding a by-election is more important than anything else for the residents of Marsiling Yew Tee GRC.
SDP and Dr Wong want the remaining 3 MPs to quit their MP roles, to stop trying to solve the residents’ life / day to day problems, and to spend time in a by-election. Is this what the residents really want? Or is it just another “tactic” for Dr Chee Soon Juan, just like the Bukit Batok SMC by-election which he lost, to try and get into Parliament (again and again)?
If there is one thing that SDP should stand by for, it would be this sentence they wrote – “The only way now for Singaporeans to comprehensively safeguard their rights and interests against an increasingly insecure and un-moored PAP is to unstintingly support the SDP in the next general election.”
Yes, if this issue is really so important, then let the residents of Marsiling Yew Tee GRC decide for themselves at the ballot box when the next GE comes. After all, it’s almost mid-2019 and the GE won’t be too far away.