The SDP Deeply Regrets Appeal Court’s Decision

The Court of Appeal has dismissed Dr Wong Souk Yee’s appeal against the High Court’s decision not to compel a by-election in the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC. This is troubling.

The seat was vacated in 2017 by former PAP MP Halimah Yacob to take the position of President.

The decision whittles down yet more rights of Singaporean citizens – the present one being the right to replace an MP who has resigned with another elected one.

Singaporeans should be able to expect that each and every MP who vacates his or her seat should be replaced by an election. This is the bedrock upon which democracy is built.

Without such a practice, the ruling party can craft legislation at will to undermine the very spirit of parliamentary representation and render such a system utterly meaningless.

The SDP deeply regrets this decision by the Appeals Court.

The only way now for Singaporeans to comprehensively safeguard their rights and interests against an increasingly insecure and un-moored PAP is to unstintingly support the SDP in the next general election.

As a note, the Court has ordered no cost to be awarded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. It has also ruled that Dr Wong should be granted leave to commence judicial review of the PAP’s action regarding this matter.

The SDP will discuss with Dr Wong on how to proceed. The matter is too important for our nation’s future not to be given serious consideration.

Read the full Court of Appeal written judgment here.

 

Singapore Democrats

 

 

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25 Responses to “The SDP Deeply Regrets Appeal Court’s Decision”

  • NotMyProblem:

    @SDP; I am sure voters of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC were also disappointed. They are asking where is their minority representative.

    I am wondering why the GRC’s minority representative, who was a strong believer of minority right in Parliament did not asked the government for a by-election for someone else to replace her. She is now the president of the country, for crying out loud.

    Perhaps, being an Indian masquerading as a Malay President did not allow her that authority.

    I just hope voters of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC know what the right thing to do in coming GE. Please try to be smarter than the Malaysians. I know there are a lot of ex-Malaysians in this GRC. Please help Singaporeans to do what Malaysians in Malaysia did to BN.

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  • Python 5:

    they refused to hold a BE. Its fine. Its to their disadvantage.

    this BE can actually give an INDICATION of what sort of results and performance the next GE brings for them.

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  • Tremendous:

    So technically, you can have 3 MPs in a 5-6 person GRC outfit across the country where members from other GRCs double up for other GRCs, without even being voted by citizens from that constituency. What an extraordinary way our courts use to interpret the Constitution!

    Might as well tell citizens that any part of the Constitution can be discarded anytime if it doesn’t fit what the members of a certain party have in mind. Having a by-election is the cleaner solution instead of getting their names tainted.

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  • who is that:

    is it me or can others also see a black figure in that pic, 2nd from left? scary in a way.
    why was it blackened off? no other pix to use?

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  • LIONS:

    ALL GENTLEMANYLY sg voters also regret that this is the case.

    what a SHAME,want a *MINORITY PRESIDENT* but also want to KEEP THE GRC?

    WHERE IS THE SCHOLARS’ CONFIDENCE?
    Suddenly,they become so lame…*lembek* lah!

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  • MarBowling:

    Who is the Hantu(in complete BLACK suit)in the above picture? A Devil in disguise or WHAT!

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  • N.Jungne:

    Just VTO, it may take another Ten to Fifteen years we do not hear them anymore

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    Constitutional provisions had only SMCs in mind, GRCs being a subsequent development. Then surely, “seat”, although initially referred to single member seats, now should be taken as a seat shared by a team of MPs who form the “group” of a GRC where the latter is concerned. And with any in the team dropping out, you have no longer a team, especially where each member purports to represent a crucial aspect of the teamwork. So that seat is no longer being filled by the team, ie. it is being vacated. And the Constitution stipulates that where a seat is vacated, it shall be filled by election. It doesn’t stipulate that the others in the team should resign when any one member does, and where they don’t resign, it says you can’t hold that by-election? But, surely, where the team no longer exists, then members have lost their function and parliamentary status. They don’t need to resign, for they no longer have their Parliamentary posting. The team no longer exists and voters should vote for that seat to be filled by a new team. Goh Chok Tong’s worries about GRC team members being “held hostage” by a member threatening to resign should be taken as a contingency the GRC scheme would have to bear with, rather than read as Parliament intending that it is to be let to malfunction with seats filled by persons who have no legitimacy. GRCs are to ensure multi-racial representation in Parliament and not multi-racial representation of GRC teams? Come, come.

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  • no meaning anymore:

    the National Constitution had been trampled on more than once!
    the National Pledge too!

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  • IMHO:

    In my humble opinion, this should have resulted in a by-election to fill the vacant seat. The winner, while being an xxx-party WP, will have to work as part of the GRC team in town council management.

    If MPs from different parties can work in Parliament, there is no reason why MPs from different parties cannot work in a GRC.

    An older part of the law that is left standing should be in effect. A new part of the law that does not specifically negate the old part, should be taken as accepting the old part.

    The other members of the GRC cannot be forced to resign. It is not in the Constitution. But IT IS in the Constitution to fill the vacant seat with a by-election.

    The Constitution does not say that all GRC member MPs must be from the same political party. It does say that during election, all candidates in a GRC team must be from the same party or all independents. But this is for the election time process. The Constitution does not specify that by-election candidates must be from the original party.

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  • What is the purpose of GRC:

    If now a ethnic Chinese can represent the interest of ethnic Malay or ethnic minority,

    Then why require a ethnic minority to form the GRC team?

    What is the purpose of GRC now?

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  • oxygen:

    @ Dr.Tan Tai Wei

    BRILLIANT DETECTIVE WORK THERE, and I agree with your exposition.

    The judgment decision is in gravity of error. I have compelling apprehension that some in the public mind will – like it or not – conclude that it is pulling a ripple from a puddle of water a size of a one-cent coin in analogy.

    The interest of the ruled, not the rulers is of primary relevance. Law is never create to protect/preserve political incumbency – whoever he or she in rotation.

    AS IN SINCE CIVILISATION COMMENCEMENT – THE EMPEROR THRONE IS ROTATIONAL IN HISTORY.

    Am I wrong?

    Dr Tan Tai Wei: Constitutional provisions had only SMCs in mind, GRCs being a subsequent development. Then surely, “seat”, although initially referred to single member seats, now should be taken as a seat shared by a team of MPs who form the “group” of a GRC where the latter is concerned. And with any in the team dropping out, you have no longer a team, especially where each member purports to represent a crucial aspect of the teamwork. So that seat is no longer being filled by the team, ie. it is being vacated. And the Constitution stipulates that where a seat is vacated, it shall be filled by election. It doesn’t stipulate that the others in the team should resign when any one member does, and where they don’t resign, it says you can’t hold that by-election? But, surely, where the team no longer exists, then members have lost their function and parliamentary status. They don’t need to resign, for they no longer have their Parliamentary posting. The team no longer exists and voters should vote for that seat to be filled by a new team. Goh Chok Tong’s worries about GRC team members being “held hostage” by a member threatening to resign should be taken as a contingency the GRC scheme would have to bear with, rather than read as Parliament intending that it is to be let to malfunction with seats filled by persons who have no legitimacy. GRCs are to ensure multi-racial representation in Parliament and not multi-racial representation of GRC teams? Come, come.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Dr. Tan Tai Wei; the initial intend of GRC was to ensure minority races are represented in Parliament. PAP gave the excuse that Singaporeans are racist, voting based on race. So there must be a minority race candidate in a GRC.

    What has it turned out now?! Chinese entered Parliament through GRC. Ironically, an Indian was voted into Parliament all by himself without tagging along with Chinese.

    It is now known that GRC’s minority race requirement is only at the time of election, after election it is not necessary. That’s the reason why MPs are not required to attend Parliament session, or they can sleep during session.

    We need to put more Oppositions into Parliament to abolish GRC. PAP’s MPs in GRC only work for the Party not the people. Once we have all single seat constituencies, we can choose the one who can work for the people. Now only useless PAP’s members needed GRC to enter Parliament.

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    Was it also argued that full racial representation, etc., of a GRC MP team pertains only at GEs, and have no implications for and requirements of what might happen mid-term, such as the need for and the conduct of by-elections? Again; come, come. What the Constitution requires as of paramount importance as to how Parliament should be constituted and should function are meant for application only at the time of GE? They say nothing as to the actual functioning of Parliament through the four or five years after the GE (which functioning is what gives point to requiring them at GEs), and therefore no rectification is necessarily called for when things go wrong mid-term?

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  • oxygen:

    @ Not My Problem

    IN COMMON LAW APPLICATION, THERE IS THE DOCTRINE OF THIS LEGAL CONCEPTUALISATION of the so-called “LEGISLATIVE INTENT” (i.e. what Parliament actually intends when it passed that GRC law).

    Legislative intent

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_intent

    “In law, the legislative intent of the legislature in enacting legislation may sometimes be considered by the judiciary when interpreting the law (see judicial interpretation). The judiciary may attempt to assess legislative intent where legislation is ambiguous, or does not appear to directly or adequately address a particular issue, or when there appears to have been a legislative drafting error.

    The courts have repeatedly held that when a statute is clear and unambiguous, the inquiry into legislative intent ends at that point. It is only when a statute could be interpreted in more than one fashion that legislative intent must be inferred from sources other than the actual text of the statute.”

    How come the judicial decision NOT RESPECTING that Parliament insisted on minority race representation in GRC wards?

    NotMyProblem: Dr. Tan Tai Wei; the initial intend of GRC was to ensure minority races are represented in Parliament. PAP gave the excuse that Singaporeans are racist, voting based on race. So there must be a minority race candidate in a GRC.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Dr Tan Tai Wei

    CONGRATULATIONS, yet another brilliant illumination from you. Governing is NOT AND NEVER the moment of election outcome only. The legal authority to govern has a life cycle of a full 5-yr term unless triggered by a by-election. Any other interpretation – I have compelling apprehension – will leave the public mind to wonder if that fanciful interpretation is mischievous of reality and truth.

    Dr Tan Tai Wei: Was it also argued that full racial representation, etc., of a GRC MP team pertains only at GEs, and have no implications for and requirements of what might happen mid-term, such as the need for and the conduct of by-elections? Again; come, come. What the Constitution requires as of paramount importance as to how Parliament should be constituted and should function are meant for application only at the time of GE? They say nothing as to the actual functioning of Parliament through the four or five years after the GE (which functioning is what gives point to requiring them at GEs), and therefore no rectification is necessarily called for when things go wrong mid-term?

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  • impartial judgment:

    Can we expect impartial judgme:
    Can we expect impartial judgments in cases where the PAP or its leaders are involved?

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  • never voted pap:

    NotMyProblem:
    @SDP; I am sure voters of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC were also disappointed. They are asking where is their minority representative.

    I am wondering why the GRC’s minority representative, who was a strong believer of minority right in Parliament did not asked the government for a by-election for someone else to replace her. She is now the president of the country, for crying out loud.

    Perhaps, being an Indian masquerading as a Malay President did not allow her that authority.

    I just hope voters of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC know what the right thing to do in coming GE. Please try to be smarter than the Malaysians. I know there are a lot of ex-Malaysians in this GRC. Please help Singaporeans to do what Malaysians in Malaysia did to BN.

    the selected president is an INDIAN masqueraing as a malay president?

    is this happening in 3rd world africa?

    can such a thing really happen in a non 3rd world country?

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  • WakeupSG:

    eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_2013-10-25_182746.html

    “A group representation constituency (GRC) is a type of electoral division or constituency in Singapore that is represented by a team of multiracial candidates. At least one of these candidates has to belong to a minority racial community, which is defined as either the Malay community or the Indian and other minority communities (such as the Eurasians). The size and racial composition of each GRC is defined by the President of Singapore and can change for each election.”

    As the President defined the size and racial composition of MYT GRC for GE2015 to have 4 candidates then it should be upheld by the Court in their judgement in favour of a by-election to fufill the no. required as defined by the highest office of SG!

    THE COURT HAS JUDGED WRONGLY IN REJECTING DR WONG’S APPEAL TO HAVE A BY-ELECTION!

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  • Rewrite Constitution:

    The oppo shd now use this reason in their GE campaign!

    There is no need for minority representation as they can resign without the need for re-Elections.

    Please vote for oppo so that they can rewrite this part of the constitution, with the help of the present AG.

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  • Goat bell:

    Le Goat with la bell already taught you after papa appeared b4 them that now they r not beholden to them plp but gorilla compliant. Gorilla’s far worm as it does have the baton to be poed but holes to fart n can only breed fart worms have now a cabinet to seal in the Constitution n jialiabied all the big time but co,pliant as Goat bell rang so.
    Now sufferer of fake news get looked after. So u now understand what hunger, greed n aggressives HgA means mercuric Arsenide will send all kpkb or as PRC alternate media has been recently refers it to kufu kumu in their love grandfather country message sbt destroying SIN with Xi Thai Agreement to cut Kra Canal after Xi Parki deal.

    R the daft Singaporeans seeing their dead ldol reappearing behind Le Goat n La Bell conveying his mge of compliancy n dynasty.

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  • Like Tory:

    How can? If call byelection, SDP or WP or … win n Pimps n Prositutes lost. Then more scare dont know what to do n what shits to spew, worse get Woodland Taiwan back to walk around the Cabin. No cost less. If Cabin takes over no need to even sit n hear just no all the way. So Singaporeans n new Singaporeans, no Pimps And Prositutes keep the island clean. If they shit give them their own shits!

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  • oxygen:

    Dr. Tan Tai Wei

    NO PEASANT AH SENG or AHMAD the millionaire tycoon is represented of is political/economic interest until and unless his preferred party wins that constituency.

    His interests is lost the moment his preferred party he supports vanquished in defeat.

    His interest is ONLY REPRESENTED ONLY FROM THE POINT OF ELECTION VICTORY OF HIS PREFERRED PARTY, not prior. In FACT AND IN LAW, POLITICAL REPRESENTATION, BY NECESSITY has to be an ex-post concept.

    The reverse or its pretensions is FICTITIOUS REPRESENTATION CLAIMED of no validity of substance and reality.

    It is one FAILED example of inherent contradiction to assert so of what can be described as “windy happy contradiction”.

    I therefore also regrets the Appeal Court decision beyond the incomprenhensible riddle of why it apparently failed to respect the “legislative intent” of Parliament in passing the GRC electoral law.

    TO AVOID DOUBT OF HAVING ALL INTEREST REPRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT, IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA FOR NEXT PARLIAMENTARY SITTING TO CONSIDER PASSING A NEW GRC ELECTORAL LAW REQUIRING MULTI-PARTIES TO BE CONTESTED IN EVERY GRC WARDS SO THAT ALL POLITICAL INTEREST – be that peasant Ah Seng or Millionaire Ahmad – is afforded representation FROM THE POINT OF ELECTION OUTCOME because no matter which party wins, the minority party is also represented in that GRC!!

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  • oxygen:

    @ Dr Tan Tai Wei

    CURRENT CONSTRUCT OF GRC BASED ON RACE/ETHNICITY IS FUTILE, we now have a GRC without minority representation POST ELECTION OUTCOME VICTORY of the incumbent party.

    Henceforth, we need to re-invent GRC of forcing political parties to field candidates of their own party TOGETHER WITH SOME OPPOSITION CANDIDATES INCLUDED IN THAT SAME TEAM i.e. multi-party representation.

    THAT WAY, NO MATTER WHICH “party” wins the GRC, all sides of the political divide is represented regardless of race, language or religion as promised in our national pledge!!

    oxygen:
    TO AVOID DOUBT OF HAVING ALL INTEREST REPRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT, IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA FOR NEXT PARLIAMENTARY SITTING TO CONSIDER PASSING A NEW GRC ELECTORAL LAW REQUIRING MULTI-PARTIES TO BE CONTESTED IN EVERY GRC WARDS SO THAT ALL POLITICAL INTEREST – be that peasant Ah Seng or Millionaire Ahmad – is afforded representation FROM THE POINT OF ELECTION OUT

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  • a PG:

    B4 the election must have a minority in GRCs. After winning the election, GRC is no longer important or necessary. The minority MP in GRC can be removed without a replacement or a BE, leaving the residents in that GRC without a minority rep. So, is GRC necessary ? Might as well do away with all the GRCs.

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