Pritam Singh As Opposition Leader Can Now Speak For 40 Mins In Reply To Questions

When Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh was made Leader of the Opposition, many Singaporeans who were unfamiliar with this new role were wondering what it entailed.

One of the 1st things revealed was his salary, which he said he would donate to low-income residents.

Now, it’s been revealed that not only will be get more pay than other MPs, he’ll also be allowed more time to say what he really needs to say in Parliament — 40 minutes to be exact, twice the normal time allotted to ordinary MPs.

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Ministerial statement on Opposition Leader’s privileges

Singapore’s 14th Parliament will resume on Monday (31 Aug), with the House sitting for the 1st time since 24 Aug, when it listened to the President’s Address.

According to the Order Paper for the session, one of the 1st motions of business will be to do with Mr Pritam.

Leader of the House Indranee Rajah will give a ministerial statement on Mr Pritam’s privileges and duties as Leader of the Opposition.

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40-minutes given to ministers, parliamentary secretaries

One of them is that he will be entitled to speak for up to 40 minutes, in reply to any question in Parliament.

An MP is usually given 20 minutes to speak to a question, according to the Standing Orders Of Parliament.

However, ministers and parliamentary secretaries are given the privilege to speak for 40 minutes in reply to questions.

Mr Pritam will now also be given the same privilege.

Some of his other privileges mentioned earlier will include having the right of first response among MPs, and being able to access confidential briefings by the Government.

Pritam to join Committee of Selection

According to the Order Paper, Mr Pritam will also be given an additional responsibility in the 1st regular Parliament sitting since the general election on Monday (31 Aug).

He’ll be appointed as one of the members of the Committee of Selection.

The Committee of Selection has the power to nominate MPs to other committees, including those that have scrutiny over Bills.

He’ll be the only representative from the opposition on the committee.

The other 6 members of the committee, according to the Order Paper, will be:

  1. Ms Indranee Rajah
  2. Mr Edwin Tong
  3. Dr Tan See Leng
  4. Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng
  5. Dr Koh Poh Koon
  6. Mr Zaqy Mohamad

All the best to our new MPs

As our new Parliament sits over the next week, MPs will be expected to talk about the President’s Address, as well as each ministry’s addenda to it.

They’ll outline the goals described in the speech and debate and scrutinise each ministry’s policies and targets.

We have 31 new MPs, and they’ll be speaking for the 1st time in their new roles, so we wish them all the best!

Featured image adapted from Facebook.