Set up independent platform to hear allegations of abuse: NMPs

Set up independent platform to hear allegations of abuse: NMPs

Kuik Shiao Yin speaking in Parliament on 38 Oxley Road
NMP Kuik Shiao-Yin speaking in Parliament on the 38 Oxley Road dispute.

SINGAPORE: Nominated Members of Parliament (NMP) urged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to set up an independent committee of inquiry to investigate allegations of abuse of power, state intimidation and nepotism made by his siblings.

This echoed points made by the opposition earlier in Parliament.

Kuik Shiao-Yin said that while the allegations are “light on details”, they have to be given due weight because of the background and “well-respected” name of the accusers.

“If the allegations are true, then the accused must be held to account, and if the allegations are false, then the accuser must equally be held to account,” Ms Kuik said. “Otherwise, how are we the people to make sense of those who are less powerful who have been sued or bankrupted for equally or less defamatory remarks.”  

Ms Kuik said as a country that prides itself in its governance by the rule of law, justice must be seen to be served. She said Singaporeans cannot be asked to tolerate a situation where the powerful are allowed to say what they wish without being held accountable, then leave the country when “they are done with their personal agenda”.

But she added the Mr Lee’s siblings should also have an independent, neutral space where they can be held accountable for their words, put their thoughts on official record and share evidence to back their claims. Ms Kuik said this can be done through an independence select committee or a committee of inquiry.

“I hope the Prime Minister will consider subjecting himself to an independent committee of inquiry on allegations made against him and his government,” she said. Ms Kuik said while this is a process not to be taken lightly, such a move could be seen as a display of political courage by Mr Lee.

Another NMP Kok Heng Leun echoed this point, saying all individuals involved should get a fair hearing.

“I believe the public would also want to hear from Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling and all the players involved in the same manner as a matter of fairness,” he said.

“Parliament might be the right place to air the Government’s position but may not be the right place to settle this issue once and for all.”

Source: CNA/mo