Why does Parliament Consider Secondhand Smoke more important than Criminal Justice?

Following the balloting procedure provided under the Standing Order of Parliament, it was decided that the matter of “Protection Against Secondhand Smoke in our Homes” raised by MP Louis Ng of Nee Soon GRC be debated under the Motion for Adjournment in the next parliament sitting instead of the matter of “Justice For All: Enhancing Equity in the Criminal Justice System” raised by MP Sylvia Lim of Aljunied GRC.

Three other PAP MPs – Carrie Tan of Nee Soon GRC, Dr Wan Rizal of Jalan Besar GRC and Denise Phua of Jalan Besar GRC have also raised other matters.

With five submissions in total, MP Sylvia Lim only stands a 20% chance of being drawn in the ballot process although 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 more important issue of the day to be heard and processed is another issue we will follow up in the future.

For now, we hope the parliamentary questions that PSP have raised separately will be addressed fully by the Minister of Law and Home Affairs. The questions are as follows:

𝗤𝟭: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if he will appoint a committee of inquiry consisting of members not affiliated to the Government to conduct a public inquiry into the Singapore Police Force’s and Attorney-General ‘s Chambers’ conduct with regards to the investigation and prosecution of Parti Liyani.

𝗤𝟮: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs,

a. whether an expedited trial process can be created for economically vulnerable foreign accused persons.

b. whether the honorarium for volunteer lawyers under the CLAS scheme can be increased to signify their contributions.

c. whether an Office of Public Defender can be created to provide legal assistance to accused persons in Singapore like the Public Defender Service in the United Kingdom.

d. whether there are any steps being taken to strengthen the interpreter service in the Singapore Police Force in the light of findings in the Parti Liyani 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. This is the only way to regain public confidence and trust in our criminal justice system.

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