By-election a chance to elect reliable candidate: PM
Thu, May 10, 2012
Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday called on Hougang residents to make use of the by-election to elect a reliable and committed candidate to serve them well.
In a post on his Facebook page, which he started just over two weeks ago, Mr Lee wrote: "I encourage Hougang voters to use this opportunity wisely, to elect the best candidate with commitment and integrity: someone they can rely upon to express their hopes and concerns, address their needs, and make a real difference to their lives."
He explained that he had already made known his intentions, during Parliament, to call for a by- election in the single-member Hougang ward after it was left vacant in February. But he reiterated that "the Constitution does not require me to call a by-election within any fixed timeframe".
Mr Lee said he advised President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday morning to issue the Writ of Election, which he attached to his Facebook post.
In his post, Mr Lee wrote that the Workers' Party (WP) and former Member of Parliament (MP) for the ward, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, had "let down all those who voted for him".
In February, the party said it had expelled the beleaguered former MP from its ranks after he failed to come clean about his rumoured extramarital affairs.
In a strongly worded statement issued at that time, the WP added that Mr Yaw had "broken the faith, trust and expectations of the party and people".
He was reported to have left the country a day after he was expelled.
Last Saturday, The Straits Times reported that he and his wife were in Hanoi.
But Mr Lee said yesterday that the WP "has not given Singaporeans a full and proper account of what happened, or why it acted in this way".
He added: "Mr Yaw himself has said nothing, either to explain or to apologise for his behaviour, and has reportedly left the country."
He noted that the WP had, initially, chosen to keep mum when the allegations surfaced.
"The WP first kept totally silent, then supported Mr Yaw, and then, three weeks later, suddenly expelled him from the party," he wrote.
"I hope these events will not distract us from focusing on our national priorities, and building an inclusive Singapore."
Mr Lee posted the note just before 4.30pm yesterday and, by 7pm last night, it had attracted 70 comments from netizens and was shared over 265 times.
Many of those who responded to his note welcomed the call for the by-election.
Netizen Benedict Jacob-Thambiah wrote: "As someone who lives within Aljunied GRC, I am tired of sharing MPs with the people from Hougang. Besides, the MPs for Aljunied weren't elected to speak for the people of Hougang in Parliament."
Aljunied GRC was also won by the WP last year.
Another netizen, Subramaniam Thirumeni, said: "This is a positive step in a new and fair political direction that our nation is hopefully embarking on."
Others, like Jmm Limm, questioned the timing of the by-election, saying that rumoured PAP candidate Desmond Choo had been given "enough time to make inroads into Hougang" as a result of the delay
Ah the excitement of the Election is coming again, good opportunity and a reminder to us how stupid, dumb and ridiculous the incumbent can be. A pity it is not a public holiday.
Hsien Loong lead the way to shows how ridiculous the People Action Party is.
He took this opportunity to take a cheap shot at WP (Maybe he is afraid?) reminding people how lousy the last MP was and it is not for the resident to choose someone a reliable guy from his camp.
That’s strange there are quire a few un-reliable guy from his camp now and some even became Minister and I am sure they did let down Singaporean not once but on quite a number of occasions. *Cough* Mas Selamat *Cough* MRT breakdown *Cough*Lesser Mortal *Cough* Mee siam mai Hum *Cough*
Hsien Loong went on babbling on how lousy WP is and hey for God’s sake can you be a gentlemen and make this election a fair and proper one and not going down the dirty path?
I dare Hsien Loong to relinquish his seat for Ang Mo Kio GRC and come and run in Hougang to see how popular he really is.
One on one a fair fight. Don’t see many Men In White have the balls to do it.