Leong Mun Wai Apologises To Tan Chuan-Jin After Fiery Parliamentary Debate On 22 Mar
Things became heated during the Parliamentary session on Wednesday (22 Mar) when Minister K Shanmugam crossed swords with NCMP Leong Mun Wai.
At one point, the PSP member sternly suggested that Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin shouldn’t ask him a question that Mr Shanmugam had not asked. This led to an interjection by Leader of the House Indranee Rajah, who reminded Mr Leong to be mindful of his tone and conduct in the House.
Mr Leong eventually apologised to Mr Tan for his remarks at the end of the hour-long debate.
Mr Leong tells Speaker not to ask question that Mr Shanmugam had not asked
Towards the end of the debate between Mr Shanmugam and Mr Leong, Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin asked the latter if he had withdrawn his allegation that the six individuals involved in the Keppel Offshore & Marine case were “actually guilty”.
Mr Leong clarified earlier that he had described the six people as guilty in his parliamentary speech and not in a Facebook post on Monday (20 Mar).
This was Mr Leong’s response to Mr Tan’s clarification:
Speaker, if the minister didn’t ask me, I suggest you don’t ask me.
The answer took the other MPs by surprise as hushed murmurings filled the House.
Mr Shanmugam was seemingly astonished, too, as he was heard remarking “wow” in response to Mr Leong’s rebuttal.
Indranee Rajah reminds Mr Leong to be mindful of tone
Upon hearing Mr Leong’s response, Leader of the House Indranee Rajah cast aside a binder she was holding before raising her hand for permission to speak.
She subsequently rose to the podium and reminded members of the House to conduct themselves in a “parliamentary manner”.
She also reminded Mr Leong of the importance of his tone when addressing fellow members of the Parliament.
Leong Mun Wai apologises for remarks made towards Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin
Later, as the debate ended, Mr Tan reminded Mr Leong that he had been “more than tolerant” and “more than accommodative” on several occasions where the latter had spoken in the House.
The Speaker also urged Mr Leong to “retain the decorum of this debate” when addressing himself or other members of the House.
He then instructed the PSP member to take his seat, seemingly ignoring the latter’s request to speak.
Seconds later, as the Parliamentary clerk was reading out the orders of the day, Mr Leong interjected and said he’d like to extend an apology to Mr Tan,
I apologise to you for what I’ve said just now, regarding if that the ‘Minister didn’t ask the question, please don’t ask the question’. I sincerely apologise for that.
Mr Leong also clarified if Mr Tan had called something he said “silly”, to which the latter denied doing so.
The thorny exchange can be found at the 1:48:15 mark of the livestream.
On the same evening, Mr Shanmugam took to Facebook to point out that Mr Leong has “a pattern of unparliamentary behaviour” as this was not the first time the PSP member apologised in the House.
The Home Affairs and Law Minister said it was unfortunate that Mr Leong exhibits such decorum regularly. “Getting his facts wrong, making allegations which are not substantiated, and conducting himself poorly in Parliament.”
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Featured image adapted from MCI Singapore on YouTube.
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