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Should MPs write appeal letters to courts on behalf of their constituents?
MPs sometimes write letters of appeal to the courts on behalf of residents. Is this a good practice, or does it blur the separation of powers between the branches of government? This question was brought to the fore recently, when a judge in the State Courts stated in his judgment that an MP’s appeal letter was “regrettably misleading”. The PAP subsequently made public its internal procedure for when its MPs should write letters of appeal directly to the courts on behalf of residents, saying that it usually done only for “urgent cases”. Some MPs stated that they were reluctant to write such letters given the independence of the judiciary and the fact that they could be seen as overstepping their role. Lee Kuan Yew is also said to have instructed all MPs not to write such letters to the courts.
Political succession and the PAP: Who, if not Tharman?
What factors into the process of picking a successor at this leadership turning point in Singapore’s history, with the end of more than 40 years under Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong? Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam seemed the obvious choice, having conceptualised well-devised social policies to effectively target citizens’ needs and gained the popular support of Singaporeans, however he has already ruled himself out. Nevertheless, it is important to consider questions as to what extent popularity, one’s ministerial portfolio, issues of race, or even the nature of one’s politics will come to influence the cabinet’s decision on the 4G leader.
Pritam Singh emerges as front runner for top Workers’ Party post
WP assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh has been tipped to be the favourite to succeed Low Thia Khiang as WP secretary-general at the party’s next Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections. This was after other frontrunners such as Daniel Goh, Leon Perera, Dennis Tan and Sylvia Lim ruled themselves out of contention and endorsed him for the position. The only other challenger for the post appears to be Chen Show Mao, who has said that it is “a matter for our party members.” The elections will be held on April 8.
More public submissions needed for Select Committee on “Fake News”
Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Committee Chair Charles Chong said that the public has only submitted 22 responses to the Select Committee tasked to tackle deliberate online falsehoods. He quipped that this is far from being enough for weeks of 8-hour public hearings every day. Members of the public have till 28th February to do so. Although this may not be ample time to deeply reflect on the subject, we encourage everyone to submit their opinions and have a stake in this political process.