Tan Chuan-Jin Had ‘Inappropriate Relationship’ With Cheng Li Hui, Persisted Despite Orders To Stop: PM Lee

Tan Chuan-Jin Was In 'Inappropriate Relationship' With Cheng Li Hui, Persisted Despite Being Told To Stop: PM Lee

Tan Chuan-Jin Continued Relationship With Cheng Li Hui In Spite Of Instructions To Stop

Earlier today (17 July), Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui handed in their resignations as members of the People’s Action Party (PAP) and as Members of Parliament (MP).

Tan Chuan-Jin & Cheng Li Hui Resign From PAP, Both Decisions Accepted By PM Lee

Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong accepted their resignations, stating that they were necessary.

In a press conference, he added that Mr Tan and Ms Cheng were in an “inappropriate relationship” that continued even when they were told to stop in February.

Tan Chuan-Jin continued relationship with Cheng Li Hui

Speaking at a press conference on 17 July, PM Lee said he spoke to Mr Tan in February about his relationship with Ms Cheng.

Admitting to his mistake, the former Speaker of Parliament offered to resign, which PM Lee accepted.

However, PM Lee wanted to first make sure that the residents of Kembangan-Chai Chee and Marine Parade were taken care of.

In addition, he told Mr Tan that his relationship with Ms Cheng had to stop.

PM Lee also counselled Ms Cheng in the same month.

However, he “very recently” got to know of information that “strongly suggested” that Mr Tan and Ms Cheng had continued their relationship.

Source: Tan Chuan-Jin on Facebook via Lianhe Zaobao

“I decided then that Mr Tan had to go forthwith, whether or not the arrangements were ready,” said PM Lee. “It could not wait any longer.”

‘Inappropriate relationship’ more serious than use of ‘unparliamentary language’

PM Lee stated that he asked to see Mr Tan, adding that around the same time, footage of the latter’s recent unparliamentary conduct circulated online.

During the discussion that followed, Mr Tan agreed to resign immediately — both for the incident and his “inappropriate relationship” with Ms Cheng, which he had informed PM Lee he would break off but failed to do so.

PM Lee also described the relationship as a “more serious matter” than Mr Tan’s unparliamentary conduct. This was due to Mr Tan’s role as the Speaker of Parliament and Ms Cheng being an MP.

“There should not have been a relationship,” PM Lee emphasised.

Party has to maintain discipline & standard of conduct

PM Lee said he was saddened to come across both MPs falling short of the expected high standard of propriety and personal conduct.

“When such a situation arises, it is my duty as secretary general of the party to deal with them and put things right,” he said.

It means to counsel, to correct, to admonish, and ultimately, if necessary, to remove the MP from the party and parliament.

He added that such a move could be “painful” to do to friends and comrades-in-arms, as well as “politically embarrassing” and “costly”.

“But the PAP has to maintain party discipline and standard of conduct,” he emphasised.

Our duty is to parliament and the people of Singapore, and that is paramount.

Public urged to let Mr Tan & Ms Cheng heal

PM Lee then assured residents of Kembangan-Chai Chee division of Marine Parade GRC and Tampines East division in Tampines GRC that the remaining GRC MPs will continue to serve them.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong will continue to take care of residents in Kembangan-Chai Chee. Meanwhile, Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli will serve those in Tampines East.

At the next Parliament sitting on 1 Aug, PM Lee will nominate a new Speaker and make a ministerial statement.

For the time being, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan will be the acting speaker.

PM Lee went on to urge Singaporeans, including the press, to give Mr Tan, Ms Cheng, and their families time to heal from the episode.

“High standards of propriety and conduct and personal conduct together with staying clean and incorrupt are the fundamental reasons Singaporeans trust and respect the PAP and give us their mandate to form the government,” he said.

“PAP MPs, whether they are ministers or back benches, must uphold these cardinal values at all times,” PM Lee added. “Without party discipline, without integrity, we are nothing. So this is an absolute requirement.”

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook and Tan Chuan-Jin on Facebook via Lianhe Zaobao.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author