The hearing for the legal action on whether the government needs to hold a by-election in the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC is set for a half-day hearing on 15 January 2018. This was determined at the pre-trial conference (PTC) held this morning.
It was also decided at the PTC that the SDP will not be a party in the matter. The Attorney-General had objected to the SDP being part of the action because, according to him, the party had no standing in the issue.
In order not to complicate the proceedings and hold up the process, the SDP has agreed to withdraw from the action. This will leave Dr Wong Souk Yee, a resident in the GRC, as the sole plaintiff in the action.
The withdrawal does not change the essence of the legal action. Our position is that the PAP must abide by the constitution and the spirit of democracy by ensuring that an MP who vacates his/her seat be replaced by another MP through a by-election. As such, the SDP will support Dr Wong in her action.
Dr Wong filed an affidavit in September in which she stated that with Ms Halimah Yacob (now President) resigning her seat, her constituency would not be fully represented in Parliament until the next general election if a by-election is not called.
In addition, the affidavit said that Ms Halimah's resignation meant that the GRC would be left without an elected minority MP to represent the minority constituents there.
Dr Wong also stated in her affidavit that if a by-election is called, she would contest in it under the SDP ticket.
The Registrar will set a date for Written Submissions to be filed before the hearing.
In the meantime, we ask our friends to support the effort by contributing toward the legal expenses. To donate, please click here. Thank you.