Should we trust our Parliament?

This morning, I was looking for the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill when I wrongly clicked on the Protection from Harassment (Amendment) Bill No. 11/2019. Out of curiosity, I scrolled down the Bill which seemed endless. It finally stopped at page 74!

This Protection from Harassment (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Protection from Harassment Act which was passed just five years ago in 2014. The Act is 25 pages long and contains 21 sections. Why is the Amendment Bill 74 pages long tabled in parliament on 1 April 2019! And why does a 5 year old law needs to be amended so extensively?

Looking at the history of the Protection of Harassment Act, I realised that it was passed in great haste. It was tabled on 3 March 2014. On 13 March, the bill was debated and passed on the same day. It takes just 10 days to make a law in peacetime Singapore. Are we in a state of emergency?

The quality of laws that are passed in haste must necessarily be suspect? If parliament is frequently convened to make amendments and new laws, is it good for Singapore and Singaporeans?

I have noticed that since the 1980s, our parliament is often convened to pass hasty laws and amendments just to take care of one situation or to punish one person. I lived through those horrendous years and saw the passage of amendments to our Constitution to deprive one person, namely, Tan Wah Piow of his Singapore citizenship, the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act to ensure that foreign publications do not comment on local politics, the Legal Profession Act simply to remove Francis Seow from being the president of the Law Society and the Internal Security Act and our Constitution just to ensure that I remain in prison without trial.

I don’t know how long the Attorney General’s Chamber takes to draft a bill and how experienced the draftsmen are. But it is disturbing and unhealthy for our country if laws are passed without thorough debates and consideration. The Protection of Harassment law has now resulted in this 74 page amendment in five years.

It is definitely a waste of tax payers’ money? To make matters worse, this amendment bill involves EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC MONEY. It is clearly stated on the last page of the bill that: “This Bill will involve the Government in extra financial expenditure, the exact amount of which cannot at present be ascertained.”

I don’t know what expenses will be incurred. This is the job of parliamentarians to whom we pay $15,000 every month. We trust them to ensure that Singaporeans are protected by good and just laws. But are they really carrying out their duty to protect our interest, the public interest, or the party’s interest?

 

Teo Soh Lung

 

 

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12 Responses to “Should we trust our Parliament?”

  • Our SG doesnt belong to PAP:

    Who died and made them the boss of us?
    becoming more and more dictatorial by the day.
    just keep shoving laws down us citizens throats w/o so much as dialogue or a vote.
    do they feel they own SG?
    its been said many times before by other commenters, but im going to add in again ” Our SG is not PAP and PAP is not SG!

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  • LIONS:

    Do you trust a PARIAHmen that only trust *$*?
    Well,if so,prepare to GO TO *HELL*.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Do we really have a Parliament or is it an AristoCrap LIEing(LYING) Monarchy Palace??? with a bunch of Eunuchs and Concubines in Attendance…

    Not forgetting the SHIMS on the fringes waiting to catch the Fallouts and the Poor People picking up the CRUMBS after the Royal Banquet as a Form of Excercise to avoid getting Diabetes

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  • N.Jungne:

    He sue his sister-in-Law, he go after his Nephew. I don’t trust him.

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  • problem of a pliant parleement:

    one day, sooner or later, pap is toppled.

    and parleement is renamed parliament.

    the out of job pap Ljs and pap Cbs shall then realize all the ffffing fixing laws they have passed in parleement while in power are coming back to haunt them. every single law that is passed with ill intent shall come back to haunt them. this is called the law of natural justice.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    What trust the parliament needs? It’s just a place for MPs and Ministers to have their siesta!

    The only time you see a full house Parliament session was two days of PM exonerated himself from allegation of abuse of power.

    Don’t forget also minority representation is only during election time, after election, it is not necessary. So MPs can absent themselves as representation is not required.

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  • RDB:

    ARTICLE TITLE IS “Should we trust our Parliament?”

    Reality is should we. And even must bearing the ways we have been governed by endless immoral bragging and praises.

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  • liars cant be trusted:

    should we trust our parliament?
    yeah, if they give us a reason to.
    Trust is earned, not given or passed around.

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  • The People No Courage:

    Ms Teo

    My view is that
    The right question to ask is
    Why trust when all you need is to demand for evidence for claims made by the gov?

    Trust is when something cannot be proven. That’s when we need to base on trust or not to trust. Eg. religious beliefs. No religious beliefs can be proven is the truth.

    If any god had been proven true, to exist, no other religions would have been left standing.

    This can easily be misperceived by peasants that I am saying because they have never been proven true, I am saying they are fake news. No. If one understands basic English, one can understand what I mean. What I mean is that what has not be proven true is also not proven untrue.

    We can see what ignorance is. It’s from our psychology. Our EQ. We get defensive even though no one said god is fake.

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  • HarderTruths:

    Actually we have always been run by one man – the rest are to do his bidding or write laws or print money or put someone in prison or talk cock and sing song..etc. etc.

    Also, what do laws mean in $G? Really? Nothing. No matter what law is there on paper you will be found guilty of whatever you are accused of and fined or jailed whatever time you are expected to serve – the proof or punishment for the crime does not matter.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

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  • LIONS:

    we shud trust our PARLIAMENT.
    BUT,if it is parLEEmen,we cannot and must not trust,fair enough?

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  • Shocking:

    Dr Thum also found clause 61 of the bill — stating that “The Minister may, by order in the Gazette, exempt any person or class or persons from any provision of this Act — to be “shocking” as the government could potentially use it “to exempt people from this law and that these people would be authorised to spread falsehoods”.

    Fortunately, GE coming soon, so we can vote if we agree to go to North of Korea with these groups of “CHIMs”.

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