PSP files motion for Speaker to be independent and impartial after hot mic issue
Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa have filed a motion for the next parliamentary sitting to ask the House to reaffirm its commitment to the need for the Speaker of Parliament to be independent and impartial.
The motion will also address the need for Parliament to be a fair arena for all, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) NCMPs said.
The development comes a day after Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said she would address Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin’s comment caught on a hot mic, “as this matter concerns parliamentary conduct”.
In a social media post on Friday, the PSP said that although the Speaker had apologised to the Workers’ Party’s Associate Professor Jamus Lim and Ms Indranee will address the matter in Parliament, the party believes it is still a “serious matter”.
“(It) deserves a full parliamentary debate as it touches on parliamentary privileges, professional ethics, and the impartiality and independence of the office of the Speaker,” said the post.
Earlier this week, a video started circulating – in it, Mr Tan is heard muttering “****ing populist” on the microphone during the first day of debate on the President’s Address on April 17.
This was after Prof Lim finished a speech on doing more to help lower-income groups here.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Tan said in a Facebook post that he had to listen to the recording as he “did not recall the occasion”. He said he apologised to Prof Lim for using “unparliamentary language”.
PSP also said in its Friday statement that ensuring that Parliament is fair to all starts with the Speaker. “However, some parliamentary procedures and processes also need to be changed to facilitate more constructive and productive debates.”
Parliament next sits in August.