Court Challenge: Constitution Says that PM Must Call for By-Election when Seat is Vacated

“Whenever the seat of a Member, not being a non-constituency Member, has become vacant for any reason other than a dissolution of Parliament, the vacancy shall be filled by election…” (emphasis added)

This is Article 49(1) of the Singapore Constitution which forms the basis of Dr Wong Souk Yee’s argument in her application for a mandatory court order to compel the government to hold a by-election at the Marsiling-Yew Tee (MYT) GRC following the resignation of Ms Halimah Yacob as an MP there.

The matter will be heard in the High Court next Monday, 22 January 2018, at 2:30 pm. Dr Wong is represented by Peter Low and Choo LLC.

The applicant will also rely on Art 39A(2)(i) which unambiguously specifies a GRC “as a constituency where at least one of the candidates in every group shall be a person belonging to the Malay community”.

In the Written Submission, the applicant’s counsel also argues that the right of a voter to be represented by an MP of his/her choice is an implied right under the Constitution. Mr Zaqy Mohamed, Ms Halimah’s appointed replacement, was not a candidate in MYT in the 2015 elections and was therefore not elected by the voters in the GRC.

In addition, if the PAP has an unfettered discretion not to call a by-election, the situation may lead to under-representation of minority MPs if, for some reason, all of these MPs vacate their seats.

As it is, MYT voters’ ability to file parliamentary questions through their representative is diminished as each MP has only up to five questions in any given parliamentary session. They will be deprived of their voice in Parliament.

Also, the loss of an MP in a GRC will compromise the Town Council’s ability to fully discharge the duties owed by MPs to their voters in the GRC.

The Written Submissions has been filed and served on the Court and AG.

The hearing will take place behind closed-doors. However, Dr Wong’s counsel will apply at the hearing itself, for leave for the case to be heard in open court.

The AGC has indicated that it is unlikely to object to the hearing being opened to the public.

 

Singapore Democrats

 

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22 Responses to “Court Challenge: Constitution Says that PM Must Call for By-Election when Seat is Vacated”

  • MarBowling:

    The final decision whether to have a by-Erection at Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC doesn’t rest on the lap of the Hide Court but rather on lap of the fiacking Hidden One Hand that covers the Whole Sky in SinKapore! Period. Anyway, he is gently reminded that Heaven and the Barn Owl are watching his movement 24/7/365!

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  • Bernard Tan:

    Dear Fellow Beloved SINGAPOREANS,

    Firstly, let be define my naming convention:
    (1) Singaporeans – Born, Breed and/or done Full-time National Service (Army, Police or Civil Defence, bottom line Uniform Organization).

    (2) Citizens – Money politics/economics individuals/family/associated relatives buying, asylum seekers etc.. Note: to upgrade to Singaporean, Full-time National Service is required regardless of, Gender and Age.

    To the Main Point;

    Trust that we have Natural Justice and Real Judges with the conscience of True Justice in ensuring, a Nation called Singapore with Excellent Law and Order in place.

    Election must be equal to all regardless of Race, Language, Religion, Gender and/or Age in our multicultural country.
    Race, language or religion (3 Sacred Core Emblems) is and must not be an issue in the first place.
    Anyone, in office or otherwise using the 3 Sacred Core Emblems as reasons/excuses shall be removed and/or charged for inciting disharmony with a Jail term and Fine. No need for court trial to argue the use of the 3 Sacred Core Emblems but rather, to pass punishments.

    We still have Good, True and Honorable People entrusted to uphold our Constitution and Laws though, many are rotten to the core for Power, Greed, self-glorification and perseverance – Like a Mummy.

    God Bless SINGAPOREANS and Singapore

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  • Good to Trash It Out !:

    Singaporeans want to know the ground rules so that there will be no arguments in future.

    Singaporeans want to know:

    1. Will there be a By-election if a MP of a GRC dies suddenly?

    2. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC is sacked from his/her party?

    3. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC resigns for whatever reasons?

    4. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC is convicted of a crime?

    5. Is there a timeline to hold a By-Election?

    Singaporeans do not want ‘double standard’. A ruling must apply to all!

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  • Samuel S:

    Again waste of time.

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  • Sue:

    If govt suka suka or arbitrarily refuses to call for by-election then something is wrong to the system which rationalise the need for number of MPs in a GRC.

    THEN THE PEOPLE MUST INSIST THAT THE GOVT DO THE RIGHT THING TO UPHOLD THE PRINCIPLES OF PARLIAMENTARY OR GRC REPRESENTATIVES TO HAVE A BY-ELECTION NO MATTER HOW INCONVENIENT TO FILL THE VACANCY!

    THIS IS NOT PLAYING MASAK MASAK!

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  • Bapak:

    The answer to all your question is a big YES (if that ward is under Oppositions).

    Good to Trash It Out !:
    Singaporeans want to know the ground rules so that there will be no arguments in future.

    Singaporeans want to know:

    1. Will there be a By-election if a MP of a GRC dies suddenly?

    2. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC is sacked from his/her party?

    3. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC resigns for whatever reasons?

    4. Will there be a By-Election if a MP of a GRC is convicted of a crime?

    5. Is there a timeline to hold a By-Election?

    Singaporeans do not want ‘double standard’. A ruling must apply to all!

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  • Do The Right Thing!:

    Follow the Constitution please!

    Never bend the rule to suit your party!

    Must be fair and follow the Law!

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  • Maxchewy:

    Happened in Ponggol east ward 10 yrs ago when Ravi went to Court on behalf of a resident, a cleaner, to demand a BE after MP Mike Palmer resigned suddenly due to his extramarital affair with a subordinate. Court agreed and a BE was held resulting in victory for WP’s Lim Bee Lian. Hope I got the facts correct?
    Now happening again but a GRC is involved….but.isn’t the basic legal constitutional principle the same? Are they so afraid of losing
    the GRC to the SDP? C’mon man PAP and Pinky! Have more confidence! Hold the BE ASAP and you can even bring in another SAF or Police scholar to boost up your Cabinet. Leo Yip?
    MC
    20.1.17

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  • N.Jungne:

    Testing, testing all of MYT GRC will become SMC

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  • Thankyou to SDP:

    Why behind closed doors?!
    What the hell the PAP want to hide?
    ANS: just their embarrasing under performance , thats all!
    If no one challenged them in court , it would have just been swept under the carpet n cunningly forgotten.

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  • HarderTruths:

    $G is ruled by cancer-ridden emperor wishing to pass the treasures to his son.

    What constitution can stop his wishes? Only in dreams.

    He has the 70% behind him.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Samuel S:
    Again waste of time.

    For the love of the country, Singapore, it is never a waste of time!!

    We need to get back our country. In the hand of PAP, SG is going down the slippery slope and coming to a cliff. If we, the true blue Singaporeans, cannot stop this in time we will just go over the cliff while the PAP and cronies will be laughing at their ivory tower with their $$$$million.

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  • Constitution vs Parliament:

    Constitution can state what is right or wrong but Parliament can overwrite the Law!

    Parliament alone can even declare that one is innocent even if he is guilty!

    Many recent happenings are scaring the shit out of Singaporeans!

    Voters must wake up before they lose everything!

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  • Pay from subscriptions:

    Don’t forget the grc rules which pappies will used where it states that there will be
    No Contest if a member leaves or dies in the grc

    However, in this case YOU need to emphasize that halimau ‘Purposely’ left to take on a more lucrative and higher paying job!

    Then you need to state that if every minority in a grc leaves what will happen? What if pritam leaves?

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  • rukidding:

    The question is ???….do the people still have “faith” in our “Cock” ?

    Many, probaly already knew the “outcome”.

    No need to “form” any special “select” committee to give you those answers rite ?

    The Pimp Master of the Pimp and prostitute party still…”wins” cos we are Dafts and have “no balls” !

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  • guuru:

    PAPmin very scared to have a BE cos of recent PE. Hopr the 70% will WAKE UP NOW!

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  • Defiance of Constitution is Cr:

    Open defiance of the Constitution is unpardonable in any democractic nations by Laws. Singapore internationally lists itself as democratic although the citizenry knows that it is essentially nepotism or dynasty as LWL and LHL have accused their brother and that members in thebureacray are compliance. Their sibling in power presented the accusation in Parliament, instead of settling the obvious case of slabder if and only if the accusations were proved beyond doubts ie with counter evidence in Court as LKY and GCT including LHL instructed that if any accusation of impropriety should be challenged in court or else is deemed guilty as accused, and rather self concluded of not guilty as accused.

    This is another acid test of the ruling party in its sense of duty, integrity and respect of the Laws of the land, the Constitution and the Party publicised codecofvPractice which is one and that ischow to proved oneslf from accusation of improprieties.

    The New President is the one who resigned to seek for Elected Presidency and this aggravates the adverse effect on the value the President and PM integrity, responsibility

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  • Defiance of Constitution is Cr:

    Open defiance of the Constitution is unpardonable in any democractic nations by Laws. Singapore internationally lists itself as democratic although the citizenry knows that it is essentially nepotism or dynasty as LWL and LHL have accused their brother and that members in thebureacray are compliance. Their sibling in power presented the accusation in Parliament, instead of settling the obvious case of slabder if and only if the accusations were proved beyond doubts ie with counter evidence in Court as LKY and GCT including LHL instructed that if any accusation of impropriety should be challenged in court or else is deemed guilty as accused, and rather self concluded of not guilty as accused.

    This is another acid test of the ruling party in its sense of duty, integrity and respect of the Laws of the land, the Constitution and the Party publicised codecofvPractice which is one and that ischow to proved oneslf from accusation of improprieties.

    The New President is the one who resigned to seek for Elected Presidency and this aggravates the adverse effect on the value the President and PM hold on integrity, responsibility and respect to Laws and Constitution. This will also aggravate the longer the by election is delayed. Citizenry will take this thought of open and deliberate defiance of the Constitution and Laws to the next GE no matter how daft or stupid PAP thinks the citizenry is. Perhaps Pap leadership agreed that a spring cleaning of the 5 decades of nepotic plpic regime on transient strike of conscience arising from latently building up of unfilled sworn oath.

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  • President not knowing Constitu:

    It is really bizzard to know the President does not know the Constitution and anticonstitutionally appyed her replacement
    Such is unforgiveable as iy signals to the citizenry that the Constitition by which she got her position is not to be treated with due respect as she just did.

    what did Heng said about his generation of papplps all fakes. really a load of shits. Anyone not respecting the Constitution is a trait** and shall be treated as such. If the Constitution can be ignored then all the political appointments are non enities as they are appointed upn the Constition including the President. All top civil servants are illegal since Constitution is not honoured. Hence not honouring the Vonstotution is a crime extremo and jusriciary should uphold it as it is deemed to be the last and crucial defender and protector of the integrity of the Constitution. Infortunayely our internationally recognised Constitutional Law academic was osted in favour of a foreign and nepotic relative of a former member of the system.

    That is the 4th generation ESW talking about. Open the window you can have a free smoke. pork soup from shanhai tap plagiarised ‘dinner jokes’moron! GCT aren’t you ashamed receiving ORA award which should be given to your classmate doctoring free in Afric instead of one who succumb to br a sw. So demeaning to the Dcool now widely nicked as Rottem Idiot since you betrsyed the trust of Spreans goven in the referendum and the trust of your Constituents. Pathetic plps in ORA of course directors here directors here.doing plp extended work. Disgusting idiots

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  • The Other Hard Truths:

    So, if the Deputy AGC chooses to brush aside the Constitution at his own whims and call the case “no merit”, is that not Scandalizing The Judiciary? Is that not a Contempt Of Court?

    Tell me, Hri Kumar? Come on, be a man !

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  • BengBeng:

    SG constitution is for show only unlike the US.

    PAP only cherry pick which ever article that suits them and ignore the rest.

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  • Maxchewy:

    Going downhill day by day……who will save us?
    MC
    26.1.17

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