Singapore

Tan Chuan-Jin to be nominated again for Speaker

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin will be nominated for re-election as Speaker of Parliament when the House meets next Monday.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Indranee Rajah will be designated Leader of the House, and Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad as Deputy Leader.

This was announced yesterday by the PMO, which also released the text of a letter Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote to the Clerk of Parliament on these posts ahead of the opening of the 14th Parliament.

Ms Indranee takes over in the post of Leader from Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, who has held it since October 2015.

Ms Indranee, who is Second Minister for Finance and National Development, will be the second woman to hold the office after Ms Fu. She was Deputy Speaker from 2006 to 2011.

As Leader of the House, she will be in charge of coordinating and managing the Government's parliamentary business.

She will be assisted by Mr Zaqy, Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence, who will take over as Deputy Leader from Minister for National Development Desmond Lee. Mr Lee has held the post since October 2015.

Ms Indranee said in a Facebook post after the announcement that the position comes with heavy responsibilities, and she will do her utmost to discharge them well.

"I am conscious that this comes at a time when our country is facing severe challenges with Covid-19 with a grave economic situation and social stresses," she said.

"What we say and do in Parliament matters - to our lives, our jobs and our future. It is not only Singaporeans who will be looking to see what happens in the Chamber, but other countries too."

She noted that the role involves working closely with People's Action Party Whip Janil Puthucheary, who was reappointed to the role on Wednesday, as well as Leader of the Opposition, Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh, and she looked forward to working with them.

THANKFUL

Meanwhile, Mr Zaqy said he was thankful for the opportunity to serve as Deputy Leader, adding: "In a period where we face tough challenges for the country and our people, I look forward to the debates and legislative business ahead, as we welcome new MPs and veteran MPs back too, who will set the tone and colour for this term of Parliament."

The current Speaker, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, was first elected to the post by MPs on Sept 11, 2017, after Madam Halimah Yacob relinquished it to run for the presidency.

The Speaker presides over all sittings of Parliament and does not take part in debates, but can abstain or vote for or against a motion if he has an original vote as an elected member.

He also acts as the representative of the House in its dealings with other Parliaments and outside bodies, welcomes visiting dignitaries and represents Parliament at national events.

In a Facebook post, Mr Tan thanked PM Lee for his confidence and for proposing his re-election.

He added: "Of course, I'd have to await the decision of my Parliamentary colleagues. If chosen, I will continue to be fair and impartial, and firm, in discharging my responsibilities and upholding the honour and integrity of our Parliament."

Singapore Politics