28 Apr 2006

Mr Lee or PM Lee?

quzy of quiescente queste has raised an extremely important point by stating
Correct me if I'm wrong, but since Parliament has been dissolved on 21 April, shouldn't all Cabinet apppointments be expired as well? Yet CNA has been consistently using appointment titles like MM Lee, PM Lee and SM Goh.

It's notable that election officers at the nomination centres correctly used Mr, Ms, and Dr when announcing candidate names.

This matter should be clarified by the election officers, but then again I feel that as they are not independent this seems unlikely to happen. What it does indicate is the open bias in favour of the PAP of Channel News Asia. Just look at the opening paragraphs and headline of the latest article on Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

PM Lee begins campaigning at Ang Mo Kio GRC
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : With 47 seats being contested in the upcoming General Election, political candidates were out busy canvassing for votes from the constituents a day after Nomination Day.

Among them was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who last faced a contest 18 years ago.

There were a few surprised faces but mostly smiles when the early morning crowd in Ang Mo Kio encountered the Prime Minister during his morning walkabout.

One of his first stops was the MRT station where he greeted people queuing for a copy of their "TODAY" newspaper and others rushing to work.

Mr Lee has been with the Teck Ghee ward since he joined politics but this is the first time he is facing a contest since 1988.

And he is not making light of this challenge.

PM Lee said: "I'm taking it quite seriously otherwise I would not be here."

Is it PM Lee or Mr Lee since Parliament has been dissolved?


Anonymous said...

I think it's PM Lee, since the PM is still very much in Office, as well as the rest of the Ministers. Just because Parliament has been dissolved by the President doesn't mean the entire Cabinet has been sacked, does it? And anyway, the MPs' terms does not expire until June 2007.

soci said...

So why do the election officers refer to them as Mr, Ms, Dr?

I wonder if there is legislation somewhere that can clarify this.

soci said...

I have had a quick look at the official singapore election site and found nothing related to it. Maybe someone with greater knowledge can find something?

antipathy said...

PM is not a title in as much as a position.

FOr example, i can still call him Mr. Lee and none the better.

In UK, the PM is addressed as Right Honorable So and So, but i mean its just a title so rotter there.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution requires that the President appoint from MPs, the PM and Ministers, but does not provide that a Minister's office is automatically vacated when Parliament is dissolved. See Articles 25 and 26.

soci said...

thanks anon, that has cleared that up.

soci said...


Appointment of Prime Minister and Ministers
25. —(1) The President shall appoint as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament, and shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint other Ministers from among the Members of Parliament:

Provided that, if an appointment is made while Parliament is dissolved, a person who was a Member of the last Parliament may be appointed but shall not continue to hold office after the first sitting of the next Parliament unless he is a Member thereof.

(2) Appointments under this Article shall be made by the President by instrument under the public seal.

Tenure of office of Prime Minister and Ministers
26. —(1) The President shall, by writing under the public seal, declare the office of Prime Minister vacant —

(a) if the Prime Minister resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President; or

(b) if the President, acting in his discretion, is satisfied that the Prime Minister has ceased to command the confidence of a majority of the Members of Parliament:

Provided that, before declaring the office of Prime Minister vacant under this paragraph, the President shall inform the Prime Minister that he is satisfied as aforesaid, and, if the Prime Minister so requests, the President may dissolve Parliament instead of making such a declaration.

(2) A Minister, other than the Prime Minister, shall vacate his office —

(a) if his appointment to that office is revoked by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, by instrument under the public seal; or

(b) if he resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President.

(3) A person who has vacated his office as Minister may, if qualified, be again appointed as Minister from time to time.


(a) Whenever the Prime Minister is ill or absent from Singapore or has been granted leave of absence from his duties under Article 32, the functions conferred on him by this Constitution shall be exercisable by any other Minister authorised by the President, by instrument under the public seal, in that behalf.

(b) The President may, by instrument under the public seal, revoke any authority given under this clause.

(c) The powers conferred upon the President by this clause shall be exercised by him acting in his discretion, if in his opinion it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to the Prime Minister"s illness or absence, and in any other case shall be exercised by the President in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

ted said...

Ok i sent a mail asking CNA about this issue you been talking about, here's the reply:

Dear Mr XXX

Thank you for your feedback.

To clarify, Parliament may have been dissolved, but the "caretaker"

government continues to run the country - which is why Ministers

continue to keep their titles.

The other MPs become "advisors" to their respective grassroots

organisations, while new candidates are known simply as candidates for

their respective parties.


Nancy Ang

Corporate Services


Anonymous said...

Interesting and thanks for the clear-ups =)