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Parliament Speaker Dismisses Leong Mun Wai’s Complaints Against Murali Pillai & Vivian Balakrishnan

Leong Mun Wai’s Complaints Against Murali Pillai & Vivian Balakrishnan Dismissed By Seah Kian Peng

Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng said on Monday (19 Sep) in Parliament that MP Murali Pillai did not “impute any improper motives” towards NCMP Leong Mun Wai during a debate on 3 Aug.

Mr Seah dismissed a complaint that the latter made on 15 Sep regarding the debate, where Mr Leong accused Mr Murali of insinuating that he was advocating for rent control.

Mr Leong had denied that he mentioned anything about rent control in his speech.

The Speaker also dismissed a second complaint by Mr Leong against Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, noting that an apology had been made and that Mr Leong had accepted it.

Regardless, Dr Balakrishnan submitted an official apology to Mr Seah, which will be recorded in the Hansard.

Speaker of Parliament Seah Kian Peng dismisses complaints made by Leong Mun Wai

“The words ‘improper motives’ imply something illegal, dishonest or morally wrong,” Mr Seah said. “I have perused the relevant speeches recorded in Hansard, and I find that the rent control statement does not suggest or impute any improper motive on the part of Mr Leong.”

He noted that rent control can be implemented by the government and is a legitimate policy tool.

Source: Parliament of Singapore via CNA

Although Mr Leong and Mr Murali had differing views of what each meant when they referred to rent control, it is the nature of parliamentary exchanges and debates, Mr Seah added.

“Sometimes, MPs may have irreconcilable opinions, and they should agree to disagree.”

 

After that, Mr Leong raised his hand to speak, to which Mr Seah said he wasn’t reopening the debate.

“I’ve set out the context of the matter, and I’ve made my decision on the complaint that you have registered. I will not repeat myself. If you’re asking me for my personal decision, that is my personal decision.”

Dismissed complaint against Vivian Balakrishnan

Mr Seah also dismissed a second complaint against Dr Balakrishnan, filed two years after his hot mic incident in 2021.

Mr Leong called for Dr Balakrishnan to formally withdraw his remarks and have his apology officially recorded in Parliament.

Dr Balakrishnan had made private comments in Parliament on 14 Sep 2021, asking someone, “Seriously, how did [Mr Leong] get into RI? Must have been a lousy school.”

The comment was caught on the Parliament live recording.

 

Subsequently, Dr Balakrishnan made an apology to Mr Leong via phone call on 15 Sep 2021, Mr Seah said.

Mr Leong had acknowledged and accepted the apology on the same date.

“In my opinion, the complaint is out of time, by reason of the long passage of time. It was not made at the earliest opportunity as required,” Mr Seah said.

He said the matter had been concluded, and no further action would be taken.

Unparliamentary language will not be condoned

“I wish to remind [members] that the use of unparliamentary, offensive or insulting language about members will not be condoned,” Mr Seah later reminded.

There must be mutual respect, and debates must be conducted with the highest standards of decorum and conduct befitting of Parliament.

Mr Seah then said he’ll continue to safeguard the dignity and decorum of Parliament.

“Besides the use of unparliamentary language, members should not persistently and wilfully obstruct the business of Parliament and abuse the rules of Parliament, for example, by making frequent interruptions or disregarding the authority of the chair.”

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Featured image adapted from MCI on YouTube and YouTube.

Jonathan Yee

Jonathan is a bedroom headbanger. His Kobo is never far from him.

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