Resignations Rock Singapore’s Government: Lawmakers Quit over ‘Unparliamentary Language’ and ‘Inappropriate Relationship’

Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) faced further setbacks on Monday with the resignations of two lawmakers. Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and lawmaker Cheng Li Hui both stepped down from their positions, dealing a blow to the government. Tan resigned over his recent use of “unparliamentary language,” while Cheng’s resignation was prompted by an admission of an “inappropriate relationship” with Tan. Both lawmakers were members of the PAP.

Prim Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the issue during a press conference on Monday, acknowledging Tan’s “unparliamentary language” and expressing concern over the inappropriate relationship between Tan and Cheng. Lee accepted their resignations, stating that Tan’s departure was necessary to maintain the high standards of propriety and personal conduct that the PAP has upheld for years.

The resignations are significant in Singapore, where the ruling party has been in power since 1959. The government is already facing challenges as a cabinet minister and the head of a listed company are currently under investigation by the city-state’s anti-corruption agency in a high-profile graft probe. Last week, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau issued an arrest notice for billionaire Ong Beng Seng as part of its ongoing investigation.

Tan’s resignation follows controversy surrounding a comment he made on a hot mic during a Parliament session, which sparked public criticism. In his resignation letter, Tan acknowledged his mistake and the broader questions it raised about his neutrality and impartiality as Speaker.

Prime Minister Lee announced that a new Speaker would be nominated before the next Parliament sitting on August 1. He emphasized the importance of upholding high standards of propriety and personal conduct, stating that PAP MPs must adhere to these values at all times. Party discipline and integrity are fundamental to the trust and respect Singaporeans have in the PAP.

These recent resignations and investigations pose challenges for the government as it strives to maintain its reputation and public trust. Maintaining high standards of propriety and conduct is crucial for the ruling party as it seeks to improve the lives of Singaporeans. The PAP will need to address these issues and maintain its integrity to retain the trust of the people.