SINGAPORE: A day after refusing to withdraw several statements he had made on Facebook and being called out for “unparliamentary conduct”, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai of the Progress Singapore Party deleted parts of his post on Thursday (Mar 23) evening.
The Facebook post, which he made on Monday, had called into question the government’s characterisation of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mrs Lee Suet Fern as having “absconded”.
This led to a ministerial statement on Wednesday by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who repeatedly quizzed Mr Leong about his understanding of the government disclosure that the Lees were being investigated by the police for lying under oath over Singapore’s former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s will.
On Thursday, Mr Leong said that he had withdrawn part of his statements. This included a line that accused Mr Shanmugam of bringing up a past theft case involving Indonesian domestic worker Parti Liyani to “muddy the waters”.
In his explanation, Mr Leong said that the post was initially intended to raise certain points that were weighing on his mind after he had deliberated on Mr Shanmugam’s response to his parliamentary question on Monday.
“As I confirmed in Parliament, it was not my intent to cast aspersions on the Ministers nor act in an unparliamentary manner. The points were raised solely in the public interest,” said Mr Leong.
He also deleted the parts of his Facebook post that stated that Mr Shanmugam and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean had run the risk of turning Parliament into “a platform to colour public opinion on criminal proceedings”.
“Absconding is a criminal offence and it should be for the courts to decide whether Mr and Mrs Lee have done so. It is not for the minister to pre-judge on that score,” Mr Leong wrote earlier. “We need more clarity to ensure that a double standard is not being practised.”