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The Role Of The Speaker Of Parliament

I have read many online comments by Singaporeans who expressed unhappiness with the way Tan Chuan-Jin handled the CECA debate in Parliament on Tuesday. Many felt that he took on a partisan role and sided with his PAP colleagues in the debate.

The role of Speaker is one of the most important in a Parliamentary democracy. He must remain above the fray and be totally impartial. We should also remember that in the ridiculous Presidential system we have, the Speaker is one of the exceptions who is entitled to run for President,even though he may not have run a company valued at $500 million or more,which is an important qualification to be President.

We have seen how Speakers in other Parliamentary democracies such as the UK and Australia have berated Prime Ministers and other Ministers for not answering questions from Opposition members and for transgressing Parliamentary decorum, such as using unparliamentary language. Likewise they have taken Opposition members to task when they have fallen short of parliamentary standards.

In the UK, a Speaker when elected by his fellow MPs to the role, severs all ties with his or her political party, so as to Ensure total impartiality. When elections come and he or she has to run for re-election to Parliament, they do not run under the banner of any political party. Instead, they are described on the ballot paper as “Speaker running for re-election.”

It is not right, in the Singapore context, when Tan Chuan-Jin as Speaker can be a CEC member of the PAP. How can the appearance of impartiality even be upheld when the Speaker of Parliament is actually part of the body which controls the ruling party?

A future non-PAP government must carry out serious reforms to improve our parliamentary democracy.

 

Lim Tean

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

35 Responses to “The Role Of The Speaker Of Parliament”

  • Nothing Downstairs:

    Case of self-castration.

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  • Asd:

    I think no conscience money more important educated by who ar

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  • Heaven has eyes:

    In the first place our SG is not a true democracy..
    So ….

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  • Time keeper:

    A very highly paid timekeeper.

    The qualifications for President are nonsense. Target special people to be in and all others out. It is very discriminatory and unconstitutional.
    We have all been robbed of our constitutional right to stand for elections.

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  • Fire:

    His father is $

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  • They live for Power & Wealth..:

    “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the Truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed… It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

    Emperor Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

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  • illitierate lousy school RI:

    +++ A future non-PAP government must carry out serious reforms to improve our parliamentary democracy. +++

    NO.

    We must keep all the pap policies that ensured pap could bully in new parliament.

    Why do away with all the pap policies? We must give pap a taste of the same bullying medicine pap dished out to non pap MPs.

    In fact, the New Speaker under New Government must allow non pap MPs to call pap MPs names such as cotton sheep such as illiterate etc.

    Tooth for tooth. Eye for eye. No mercy. pap doesn’t show any mercy now. Why be saintly when we have voted pap out?

    We saw a documentary. After WW2 when Japs lost, the Japs were paraded on the streets. Each time a Jap was near a passerby, the Jap got whacked on the knee by a hammer.

    What a good thing it is.

    We must parade all the pap Ljs and pap Cbs on the streets of Singapore after their defeat. We PROMISE to supply the hammers needed to hammer these evil folks on their knees.

    Tooth for tooth. Eye for eye. Mercy comes from God. We are not God. We are fellow Singaporeans who are sick and tired of a bunch of evil Singaporeans who have gone the pap way and rejoice in the chance, after GE2024, to hammer these evil pap Ljs and pap Cbs on their knees as they are paraded on the streets.

    We talk mercy only about PSP WP folks. no mercy for pap folks. they have showed no mercy. why should they be given mercy?

    We are only behaving just a tad better than pap folks are behaving now. Which is a lot already.

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  • Fire:

    Fire:
    His eyes is full of $ sign.
    Supported by 61.

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  • True Blue Singaporean:

    The problem is, Leong and PSP aren’t really bothered about the numbers, or helping Singaporeans. They are simply trying to get power by stoking fears of the Chinese, who form 75 % of the population and hence it is an easy platform. It can certainly reap them lot of benefits, even after their disastrous performance in Parliament. Its all about optics. Indeed, many Chinese will look at PSP as their “saviour”. Its just a platform for them to gain power. Even if they win power, I can assure you PSP will not cancel Ceca with India, at most make some minor tinkering and claim they have followed up on their promise. But in the process, they are creating walls and racial strife in Spore which will be detrimental to Spore, which really has nothing to fall back on. Just look at the kind of derogatory and racist comments by SOME forummers here. To be fair, PSP is not the initiator of this. They are simply trying to ride a wave that has been created by some motivated groups, creating false narratives. If PSP truly has concerns of Singaporeans and not using race to gain power, they can redeem themselves in the following way. Since PSP claims they are also concerned with FTAs with China, US and Australia, perhaps the next time, they should mention “concern with some FTAs, eg with China” or at the minimum, “concern with some FTAs, eg India, China, USA, Australia”. The ball is in their court to redeem themselves.

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  • xoxo:

    Tean,precisely right.
    Non-parti$an…the $money is too much to forego?
    All Pups waiting for the Master to pat them on their shoulders basically.
    As long as the Master is happy,anything and everything goes?

    A *SPEAKER* OF PARLIAMENT IS NOT A talker,a bird-talker on any party’s behalf.
    He is supposed to be a JUST MODERATOR.

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  • PAP Lost The Debate:

    After watching the debate, in my opinion, PAP has lost the debate.

    Why ?

    PAP need 5 top Ministers to take on Leong Mun Wai ie Shanmugam, Lawrence Wong, Tan See Leng, Sim An and the speaker Tan Chuan Jin. Why can’t it be one on one unless there is no one from the PAP whho can speak well and convince the people.

    Shanmugan is not a good speaker as he only concentrates on making the people believe that Leong is Racist. He did not argue on facts. Lawrence Wong talked a lot but not able to convince with facts again and use National Security as cover to reveal the facts. Tan See Leng again cannot answer the points brought by Hazel especially the increase in PMET job for the local. Is the reclassification of CECA Indian from FT to PR to Citizen counted as local. Therefore it is not an actual increase in Local.

    The main point is that none of the PAP Ministers can convince the listeners 100 per cent that CECA is good for us.

    I worked in IT for 30 years and was replaced by an Indian. I want to know whether it is because of my lack of skills or too high salary or not enough energy or whatever reasons so that I can improve myself.

    I need Facts like how many Indians from India are now working in Singapore, how many Singaporeans are now working in Indias, How much profit did DBS and other local companies made from their Indian branches etc These facts can convince me whether CECA is really good or bad for Singaporeans and Singapore.

    The best Speaker is Hazel. She came out with many facts which the PAP had no answers. Based on this debate, I will not vote for PAP in the coming GE. Sorry PAP, you did not do a good job, More like being very desperate and behaving like a Big Bully.

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  • Replaced:

    He is aiming to be a miniSTIR again after being replaced

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  • Ah the “excercise” former minister. Heard he kenna demoted from full minister to speaker (lower pay) because he talks too much, constantly pissing the dafts off?

    Also heard he was a contender for the PM seat-warming post, apparently that appears to have been upgraded to President now?

    BTW, there are 2 LEEders of the house wor, speaker got sore throat, the 2 LEEders cannot speak up meh?

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  • Fire:

    Nothing Downstairs:
    Case of self-castration.

    垃圾太监

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  • Donning wrong hat !:

    TCJ – should be wearing the Speaker Hat – non-partisan.
    All along he wears the Papaya Hat – his master.
    -
    More than 39% should know the Power of the Ballot Box !

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  • Be humble and serve:

    Bozo is full of antics and showmanship, running up steps of tall buildings. But come to doing job properly, he just acts as loud speaker.

    Quite an unemphatic character to suggest elderly enjoy collecting cardboards as a form of exercise.

    Good riddance

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  • stanaone:

    Never know there is democracy in the land.

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  • Protect Aliens Party:

    I don’t know who did you guys see when parliament was seated. But this was what I saw:

    - only 2 true blue singaporeans (PSP) fighting for the livelihood of their true blue fellow citizens despite being humiliated and bullied
    - 9 sg citizens (WP) who cared more for their own party and themselves, so don’t blame me if I mistook them as the naturalised citizens
    - the rest (I can’t tell how many because “now I see them now I don’t” and some seats were suddenly emptied!) were working so hard to defend the foreigners so I shouldn’t be wrong to call them the FT (Forever Trait*rs)
    - 1 speaker sir who was on the FT side

    Uniquely sg parliament .…. where the members of parliament voted by singaporeans fight against their own parliamentarians to defended the foreigners!!!!!

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  • Anti Racism:

    @ PAP lost the debate : “I worked in IT for 30 years and was replaced by an Indian. I want to know whether it is because of my lack of skills or too high salary or not enough energy or whatever reasons so that I can improve myself”.

    I am Singaporean Indian born here and studied in university here. I had amongst the best grades and great ECA record as well. But after I graduated (this is 20 years ago), I applied for jobs but got called for very very few interviews. My fellow Singaporean Chinese students, most with much lower grades than me and less stellar ECAs, got called for interviews left right and centre and got jobs easily. It took me a long time to finally land a job. Why was this? I too was retrenched from a job, only to find out later that the company restructed the role slightly and hired a Singaporean Chinese one month later. I don’t know, should I blame all my experiences on racism and discrimination?

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  • Smart Nation:

    True Blue Singaporean:
    The problem is, Leong and PSP aren’t really bothered about the numbers, or helping Singaporeans. They are simply trying to get power by stoking fears of the Chinese, who form 75 % of the population and hence it is an easy platform. It can certainly reap them lot of benefits, even after their disastrous performance in Parliament. Its all about optics. Indeed, many Chinese will look at PSP as their “saviour”. Its just a platform for them to gain power. Even if they win power, I can assure you PSP will not cancel Ceca with India, at most make some minor tinkering and claim they have followed up on their promise. But in the process, they are creating walls and racial strife in Spore which will be detrimental to Spore, which really has nothing to fall back on. Just look at the kind of derogatory and racist comments by SOME forummers here. To be fair, PSP is not the initiator of this. They are simply trying to ride a wave that has been created by some motivated groups, creating false narratives. If PSP truly has concerns of Singaporeans and not using race to gain power, they can redeem themselves in the following way. Since PSP claims they are also concerned with FTAs with China, US and Australia, perhaps the next time, they should mention “concern with some FTAs, eg with China” or at the minimum, “concern with some FTAs, eg India, China, USA, Australia”. The ball is in their court to redeem themselves.

    From the very opening lines, this smells of PAP’s propaganda poops. There is no reason or basis to believe that PSP is playing the race card or to question its genuine concern for ALL Singaporeans. It was the PAP side that turned the CECA issue into a racism issue. Don’t you think that your very suggestion that PSP is appealing to the majority Chinese population is in itself playing the race card? Are you trying to play the other races against the Chinese? Are you trying to sow discord and disrupt the peace of our nation? If I may ask, “Are you perhaps a foreigner influencer yourself?

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Not right. While Mr Lim you bring up UK model, some here said Taiwan model better ( where fights breakout ).

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  • Smart Nation:

    If it were a soccer match and the referee takes side, he will be called out by the spectators. In the Parliamentary debate, the public are the spectators, and they are calling out to the “Referee” to be fair to the Opposition.

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  • KT:

    In my opinion, a speaker of ParLeemen (SOP) should NOT be from the same political party. Yes, impartiality is the issue where the presence of Opposition MPs is concerned and Lightning party has majority of 83 MPs. Hence, where is the fairness ? Therefore, SOP should be from a non-political party and he/she should be from a qualified citizen and a “non-kaki lang.”

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  • ECA?:

    Graduated still focused on ECA?
    40+ yr old still focused on ECA?

    When you highlight ECA, your job prospect goes down a lot.

    You need to get rid of ECA brainwashing.

    Anti Racism:
    @ PAP lost the debate : “I worked in IT for 30 years and was replaced by an Indian. I want to know whether it is because of my lack of skills or too high salary or not enough energy or whatever reasons so that I can improve myself”.

    I am Singaporean Indian born here and studied in university here. I had amongst the best grades and great ECA record as well. But after I graduated (this is 20 years ago), I applied for jobs but got called for very very few interviews. My fellow Singaporean Chinese students, most with much lower grades than me and less stellar ECAs, got called for interviews left right and centre and got jobs easily. It took me a long time to finally land a job. Why was this? I too was retrenched from a job, only to find out later that the company restructed the role slightly and hired a Singaporean Chinese one month later. I don’t know, should I blame all my experiences on racism and discrimination?

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  • VB Diarrhoea:

    VB Diarrhoea:
    “The speaker’s official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the chamber or house.”

    Waiting for the Speaker to discipline VB officially in Parliament for his “verbal (VB) diarrhoea” hurled to hurt LWM.

    Should read as LMW

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Anti Racism:
    @ PAP lost the debate : “I worked in IT for 30 years and was replaced by an Indian. I want to know whether it is because of my lack of skills or too high salary or not enough energy or whatever reasons so that I can improve myself”.

    I am Singaporean Indian born here and studied in university here. I had amongst the best grades and great ECA record as well. But after I graduated (this is 20 years ago), I applied for jobs but got called for very very few interviews. My fellow Singaporean Chinese students, most with much lower grades than me and less stellar ECAs, got called for interviews left right and centre and got jobs easily. It took me a long time to finally land a job. Why was this? I too was retrenched from a job, only to find out later that the company restructed the role slightly and hired a Singaporean Chinese one month later. I don’t know, should I blame all my experiences on racism and discrimination?

    Well said…well said…
    Every where you go, you need to build your connection.
    Opposition supporters got no brain for in depth analysis.

    Trump appoint friends to powerful position
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-jobs-rich-allies-233975

    PAP supporters please print/distribute/share my post.
    In Dollar$ We Tru$t. Prai$e the Dollar$. Glory be with the Dollar$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaperer, Betterer, Fasterer

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  • xoxo:

    This bloke also said * collecting cardboard is a good exercise for the elderly (poor)?*

    Now,as $peaker,he CONtinues to BIRD-TALK.
    TWEETY,TWEETY,TWEET,TWEET,TWEET.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Speaker kayu … Speaker kayu….

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  • Spore Indian Cannot Find Job ?:

    I don’t see any good reasons why the employers here should employ a University educated Singaporean Indian rather than a University educated CECA Indians from India ?

    It will be cheaper to employ the CECA Indians and they do not have to serve NS. Employers made higher profits and the PAP collect more levies. So whether you are Indian, Chinese or Malay from Singapore, you will have to go through this shit and try your best to drive for Grab, deliver food, security or other Gig jobs.

    Good Luck and continue voting for the PAP.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    PAP mandate strong:
    Not right. While Mr Lim you bring up UK model, some here said Taiwan model better ( where fights breakout ).

    Ah yes, where is Roy boy ? He said Taiwan model better (where fights breakout and poke back side can be done publicly…. )

    Publicly Poke Backside – the pride of democratic fake degree President Tsai
    Facts 1: https://formosapride.com/

    PAP supporters please print/distribute/share my post.
    In Dollar$ We Tru$t. Prai$e the Dollar$. Glory be with the Dollar$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaperer, Betterer, Fasterer

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    True Blue Singaporean:
    The problem is, Leong and PSP aren’t really bothered about the numbers, or helping Singaporeans. They are simply trying to get power by stoking fears of the Chinese, who form 75 % of the population and hence it is an easy platform. It can certainly reap them lot of benefits, even after their disastrous performance in Parliament. Its all about optics. Indeed, many Chinese will look at PSP as their “saviour”. Its just a platform for them to gain power.

    Yes, this part is very well said. And yes, it is just a platform for them to gain power.

    In crude term, PSP are merely making use of these group of stopid people as canon fodder, to be used and discard after usage.

    Our Opposition favourite Roy boy said Taiwan democracy is the best…. hahaha.

    After Opposition Democratic Progressive Party fake degree President Tsai win the election, the democratic move to shut down media who are critical of their government.

    Facts #1 Democratic shut down media critical of Democratic Lying President Tsai.
    關「中天」台灣新聞自由已死! NCC創惡例台灣成「一言堂」
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erDwQ_E7eLc

    Facts #2 Democratic rigged the election. 為什麼民進黨要做票?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMjXB84XSBw

    PAP supporters please print/distribute/share my post.
    In Dollar$ We Tru$t. Prai$e the Dollar$. Glory be with the Dollar$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaperer, Betterer, Fasterer

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  • xoxo:

    Umm,after so many years in the job,TCJ still still does NOT KNOW his OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION?

    WHAT ARE TAXPAYERS paying him for?
    Or,does he think he is paid by his PARTY BO$$?

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  • Woody's getting us there.....:

    What do you call a Singaporean on the pitch in the World Cup Finals?
    A Referee Kayu

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  • Asd:

    I think minister no answer alot of questions ar but speaker seems like don’t care ar

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  • GREAT SETBACK OUR INSTITUTION:

    THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT OBVIOUS TAKE SIDE TO HELP HIS PARTY.
    By insisting PSP LEONG TO ANSWER YES OR NO to FTAs ,he is wading directly to take side.
    One listening and watching cannot miss the speaker of parliament is siding his party.
    HE LOSE CREDULITY….AND HIS SAYING OLD PEOPLE COLLECLTING CARDBOARDS IS EXERCISNG AND NOT POOR…..SHOW HE LACK COMPASSION, AND DONT REALLY KNOW THE HARDSHIPS, AND STRUGGLES OF THE COMMON PEOPLE.
    FTAs and CECA is very obvious great detriment to SINGAPOREANS.
    IF u have nothing to hide, then show all the datas,information fully over the past 15 yrs to public.
    BE TRANSPARENT,AS WHAT PAP ALWAYS HARPED THIS ON OPPOSTIONS.
    BUT U ARE NOT TRANSPARENT,ASKING SINGAPOREANS TO GIVE PAP A BLANK CHEQUE.
    What is there to fear unless there is something very wrong WITH DATAS, AND INFORMATION THAT PUBLIC REQUESTS.

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