PM outlines code of conduct for PAP MPs to follow
In a letter yesterday to all Members of Parliament from the People's Action Party (PAP), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outlined the code of conduct they are expected to follow
1 BE HUMBLE
Always remember that you are a servant of the people, not their master, Mr Lee said, as he reminded the MPs to stay humble despite PAP's victory in the Sept 11 General Election.
The ruling party received 69.9 per cent of the vote and won 83 out of 89 seats in Parliament.
"Do not mistake the strong election result to mean that our efforts have succeeded, and that we can afford to slacken. Much work remains to be done, tackling issues which concern Singaporeans, and finding new ways to improve people's lives," he said.
2 UPHOLD YOUR REPUTATION AND INTEGRITY
Honesty and integrity has helped the PAP to retain Singaporeans' trust, and PAP MPs must do nothing to compromise that.
Therefore, they must be "shrewd in assessing the motives of those who seek to get close to you", Mr Lee pointed out.
"At all times, be seen to be beyond the influence of gifts or favours," he said.
He also advised the MPs to be "scrupulously proper" when contacting public officers.
"Do not lobby any ministry or statutory board on behalf of anyone who is not your constituent or grassroots activist.
"Do not raise matters with public officers on behalf of friends, clients, contractors, employers or financiers to advance their business interests," he said.
3 DON'T MIX BUSINESS AND POLITICS
MPs making public statements on behalf of their company or industry association should indicate that they are speaking in private, professional or business capacity.
Similarly, when raising questions in Parliament related to their work, they should first declare their pecuniary interest.
"You must not exploit your public position as MPs, your close contacts with the ministers, or your access to government departments and civil servants, for your personal interest or the benefit of your employers," said the PM.
MPs can take up directorship roles at their own discretion, as long as they are able to draw a clean line between work and politics, he added.
4 BE FRANK AND INFORMED IN PARLIAMENT
Speak freely and with conviction, as the public expects PAP MPs to be candid in their views, whether for or against Government policies, Mr Lee said.
But he reminded them not to "get carried away playing to the gallery".
"Bring out questions and issues that Singaporeans and your constituents have concerns about, and grapevine talk for the Government to rebut.
"But avoid unwittingly lending credence to baseless gossip. This will show that you and the Party are in touch with the ground and speaking up for Singaporeans," said Mr Lee.
"Over time, the public will see that PAP backbenchers are as effective as opposition MPs, if not better, at holding ministers to account, getting issues fully debated, and influencing policies for the better," he said.
5 BE FINANCIALLY PRUDENT AND DECLARE YOUR INCOME
Do not assume that you will continue to receive your MP's allowance, Mr Lee said, as there is neither tenure nor job security in politics.
"Do not over-extend yourself or become financially embarrassed. This would not only be a potential source of embarrassment, but also a weakness which may expose you to pressure or blackmail," he said.
The PM also urged MPs to declare their business and professional interests, present employment and monthly pay, the retainers and fees they are receiving, and whether their jobs require them to get in touch with officers in ministries or statutory boards on behalf of employers or clients.
Do not mistake the strong election result to mean that our efforts have succeeded, and that we can afford to slacken. Much work remains to be done tackling issues which concern Singaporeans, and finding new ways to improve people's lives.
- PM Lee Hsien Loong in his 'Rules of Prudence' letter to PAP MPs