Parliamentary motion on recusal of WP’s Low Thia Khiang & Sylvia Lim passed by 52 to 9 votes, 2 abstentions

WP MPs intend to appeal the judgment of the High Court.

Sulaiman Daud | November 5, 2019 @ 08:36 pm


After a marathon session of Parliament, which started at 11:00 am and ended around 7:00 pm on Nov. 5, the House passed a motion moved by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

The motion, which called on Workers’ Party (WP) MPs Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim to recuse themselves from the financial matters of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), was passed by 52 votes to nine.

There were two abstentions.

DPM Heng’s questions for WP

Heng gave a 65-minute speech, and had several questions for the WP MPs.

These included whether Pritam and Lim would apologise, what actions would current AHTC chairman and WP MP Faisal Manap take, and whether Lim would step down from her position as AHTC Vice-chair.

5 questions Heng Swee Keat asked Workers’ Party on AHTC in his 65-minute speech

Faisal Manap: I have full confidence in Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang

Faisal rose to speak during the debate.

Speaking in Malay, he said that he had full confidence and trust in the integrity of Low and Lim.

He added that he believed the decisions they have made as town councillors were done in good faith.

WP’s Faisal Manap rejects Heng Swee Keat’s parliamentary motion, says he trusts Low Thia Khiang & Sylvia Lim

The debate also saw speeches in support of the motion, including:

  • Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.
  • Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah.
  • Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong.
  • Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad.

Speeches made by NMPs

Two Nominated Members of Parliament, Anthea Ong and Assoc. Professor Walter Theseira, said they would abstain from voting.

Ong questioned the need for the motion, especially since it is non-binding. She mentioned that the Town Council Act provides the Minister with another avenue to take action to rectify deficiencies.

Theseira said that as an unelected Member, he felt “uncomfortable” with voting on what he believed was a “political resolution”.

NMPs Anthea Ong & Walter Theseira abstained from voting for parliamentary motion against WP MPs

WP’s response

WP Secretary-General Pritam Singh said that members of his party would vote unanimously against the motion.

He said that recusal was a matter to be determined by the town council, and not Parliament.

Lim mentioned that the WP MPs who were found liable intended to appeal the judgment of the High Court.

Sylvia Lim calls for parliament to reject Heng Swee Keat’s motion, says WP will appeal AHTC judgement

Low did not speak during the debate.

Related story:

Parliamentary motion calls on Low Thia Khiang & Sylvia Lim to recuse themselves from AHTC financial matters

Top image by Sulaiman Daud.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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