Sunday, March 24, 2013

On the Parliament Vote to Endorse the Population White Paper - Redux: Who didn't vote?

As promised in a previous post, I kept a close watch on the release of the votes and proceedings of the parliamentary vote held on 8 February to endorse the controversial population white paper.

You may find the proceedings here. Naturally, I saved a copy to my hard drive. Even with legislation that compels the government to release this information, I have zero trust in the PAP in such matters.

And given the compromised nature of the mainstream media in reporting political news, you will never hear the specifics of the proceedings in the Straits Times, so if you find this blog post enlightening, please disseminate this as far as possible. Our citizenry need to be informed citizenry if we are to have influence in charting the course of this nation of ours.

Given the short attention spans of most people, I would not be surprised if many Singaporeans have forgotten about the specifics of who voted for what. And this was probably something that the PAP was counting on.

This post will serve as a reminder of the voting record on that fateful day.

From the parliamentary proceedings, in the matter of endorsing the population white paper, there were 77 ayes, 13 noes, and 1 abstention. There were 5 absentees on that day.

All opposition party MPs voted no.

All non-constituency MPs voted no.

Of the nominated MPs, Eugene Tan abstained, as is well known. Janice Koh, Faizah Jamal and Laurence Lien all voted against the motion, as is also known.

What was not stated in the mainstream media was that of the remaining five nominated MPs, Tan Su Shan was absent, while the remaining four voted aye.

These four, whose names were not mentioned in the media, are Nicholas Fang, Mary Liew, Ramy Dhinakaran and Teo Siong Seng.

Remember these nominated MP names. When the time comes to re-appoint the nominated MPs, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod for re-appointment, and who doesn't, and see how the re-appointment reconciles with this voting record.

Now, the most interesting part of this post.

There are 99 MPs in parliament. With 77 ayes, 13 noes, 1 abstention and 5 absentees, that still leaves 3 MPs unaccounted for.

It was known that Inderjit Singh absented himself during the vote, and well he did, given the misgivings he voiced out prior to the taking of the vote.

But who were the other two?

The answer is: Indranee Rajah and Ng Eng Hen. 

Read into that what you will. Myself? I would note that Ng Eng Hen is a Cabinet Minister, while Indranee Rajah is a Senior Minister of State, unlike Inderjit Singh who is just a regular MP. It's bad form for people that high up in the PAP hierarchy to absent themselves from a vote as widely watched as this one.

I do not have information on how or why they absented themselves. And our mainstream media doesn't seem to either, or doesn't want to tell us, or just plain doesn't want to know.

*Remember, if you found this post noteworthy, please disseminate.  As citizens, all of us need more information.


Gary said...

So LKY vote 'Yes'?
So he has changed his population stand?

mjuse said...

LKY didn't vote for the white paper. He was absent from that parliamentary session. Please refer to the proceedings.

The Pariah said...

Ng Eng Hen, Indranee Rajah and Inderjit Singh either went for a Kopi or a Pee!