Singapore Lawmakers Resign Over “Inappropriate Relationship”

By Loura

Singapore, 17 July (Reuters) – Two senior members of Singapore’s governing party have resigned as a result of a “inappropriate relationship,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed on Monday.

This current crisis has drawn attention to a city-state not recognized for its political stability.

Singapore Lawmakers Resign Over “Inappropriate Relationship”

Lee noted that the resignations of House Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and legislator Cheng Li Hui were required to protect the principles of his People’s Action Party (PAP).

It is unusual for top members of the PAP to resign in Singapore, given that the party has been in power since 1959, prior to the country’s independence in 1965.

Lee noted that Tan’s personal behavior had fallen short and expressed sympathy for the speaker’s choice to step away from politics in order to mend his family.

Cheng, the legislator, has been a member of parliament since 2015.

Cheng could not be contacted for comment at the time of the announcement, and her Facebook profile had been removed.

This political turmoil comes in the aftermath of a high-level corruption probe involving Transport Minister S Iswaran and hotel mogul Ong Beng Seng.

They were detained last week but later freed on bail. They have not made any statements on the current investigations.

Furthermore, after facing public scrutiny over their excessive rental prices for state-owned bungalows, two senior cabinet members were exonerated of any misconduct in June.

In a second instance, the opposition Workers’ Party (WP) addressed a “inappropriate exchange” between two senior members when a video of them holding hands at a restaurant surfaced online.

Both the PAP and the WP have already fired members for extramarital relationships.

Such incidents are unusual in Singapore, a society that takes pride in its lack of corruption and strong moral standards for officials.

Monday’s events, according to Chong Ja Ian, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, were “relatively controllable issues” that would not have a substantial influence on Singapore’s political stability.

He also underlined the need of more openness inside the structures of both the government and opposition parties.

PM Lee announced to local media that he expects to propose a new house speaker by August 1.

He also said that he has no imminent intentions to call a general election, which is due for 2025.

Chen Lin contributed reporting, while Martin Petty and Kanupriya Kapoor edited the piece.