I am not convinced by the arguments put forward by Mr. Hri Kumar, Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency regarding the calling of a by-election for Hougang ("We should let PM do his job, Today 29 February).
It is the constitutional right for all citizens to be represented in Parliament by a person who is duly elected by them. The people of Hougang constituency has lost their representative due to an unfortunate event, which is not of their making or choice. They should not be deprived of their right to be represented.
The constitution does give the Prime Minister the duty to call for an election. It seemed to be a simple matter for him to carry out this duty. The arguments put forward by the honorable Member of Parliament about the "heat and debate" that may occur during the Hougang by-election is not compelling. Most elections do generate some heat and excitement for the people and that is the value of a democracy.
Some people have argued in an earlier occasion that the Prime Minister should not be distracted from attending to urgent national issues. I wish to suggest that the Prime Minister leave the arrangements for the by-election to the civil servants in the Elections Department. He can also leave the contest for this hot seat
to the political leaders in his party.
Tan Kin Lian