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PSP to 'follow up' on parliamentary process of selecting adjournment motions

NCMP Leong Mun Wai says there was a failure to give "priority to the more important issue of the day" after the Workers' Party motion on enhancing equity in Singapore's criminal justice system was not selected in a ballot.

PSP to 'follow up' on parliamentary process of selecting adjournment motions

Progress Singapore Party NCMP Leong Mun Wai speaking in Parliament on Sep 1, 2020.

SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) plans to follow up on the "failure of the current parliamentary procedure" to give priority to "the more important issue of the day", after Workers' Party (WP) MP Sylvia Lim's motion to speak on enhancing equity in the criminal justice system was not selected for the next Parliament sitting.

The PSP's Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai made the comments in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Sep 30), after Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin announced on Tuesday that Ms Lim's motion was not drawn during a random ballot.

Titled Justice For All: Enhancing Equity In The Criminal Justice System, Ms Lim's motion aimed to make reference to "deeper issues" raised by the recent acquittal of former maid Parti Liyani.

READ: Workers' Party files motion to speak on equity in criminal justice at next Parliament sitting

In his announcement on Tuesday, Mr Tan had said that Ms Lim's adjournment motion was among five that were submitted. 

The other four that were submitted were from People's Action Party MPs Louis Ng and Carrie Tan of Nee Soon GRC and Jalan Besar GRC’s Wan Rizal and Denise Phua.

Mr Ng's adjournment motion to speak on protection against secondhand smoke in our home was selected.

Mr Leong said in his Facebook post that with five submissions in total, Ms Lim had only "a 20 per cent chance of being drawn in the ballot process", adding that "most Singaporeans would probably prefer the Parti Liyani case to be heard first before secondhand smoke or any of the other matters raised by the PAP MPs".

"The failure of the current parliamentary procedure (standing order) to give priority to the the more important issue of the day to be heard and processed is another issue we will follow up in the future," said Mr Leong.

READ: Sylvia Lim's motion to speak on enhancing equity in criminal justice system not selected, Louis Ng to speak in Parliament instead

“For now, we hope the parliamentary questions that PSP have raised separately will be addressed fully by the Minister of Law and Home Affairs,” he added.

The questions are:

- To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if he would appoint a committee of inquiry consisting of "members not affiliated to the Government" to conduct a public inquiry into the police and Attorney-General's Chambers' conduct regarding the investigation and prosecution of former maid Parti Liyani

-To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether "an expedited trial process can be created for economically vulnerable foreign accused persons"

- Whether the honorarium for volunteer lawyers under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) can be increased to signify their contributions

- Whether an Office of Public Defender can be created to provide legal assistance to accused people in Singapore like the Public Defender Service in the United Kingdom

- Whether steps are being taken to strengthen the interpreter service in the Singapore Police Force in light of findings in Ms Parti's case

"We continue to advocate that for the Parti Liyani case, which is one of national importance, an Independent Committee of Inquiry be convened to investigate the case independently and to recommend remedial measures," said Mr Leong.

He added that this would be "the only way" to regain public confidence and trust in Singapore's criminal justice system.

Source: CNA/lk

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