On 6 Mar 2018, Leader of the House Grace Fu officially requested an apology regarding the false accusation made by Sylvia Lim on the GST hike.
Ms Lim, Workers’ Party (WP) chairman, will have until Thursday to make an official apology to the Parliament as an honorable Minister of Parliament.
She did not attend the sitting on 6 Mar 2018, but we understand that she had spoken to Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin for permission to make a statement on the matter.
Ms Fu also reiterated that Parliamentary privilege does not entitle MPs to “knowingly maintain allegations that have been shown to have no factual basis.”
Speaking in the Parliament is not the same as speaking in a normal debate.
Statements have to be supported by facts, suspicions must be supported by sufficient research for the cause.
If anyone can speak freely in the Parliament, no proper discussion can be done as everyone will just speak about rumors or suspicions with no consequences.
This is not constructive and therefore cannot be allowed, hence the MPs are asking for her apology to make an example out of her.
“Now that Ms Lim has been apprised of the facts, I request that she withdraws her allegation that the Government had floated test balloons on the need to raise revenues within this term and had intended to raise the GST immediately, and apologise to this House, before the end of this sitting of Parliament on Thursday, 8 March 2018,” said Ms Fu.
She added that a copy of her statement would be sent to Ms Lim since she was absent from the sitting.