SINGAPORE: Leader of the House Mah Bow Tan has reminded MPs that they must maintain decorum and be responsible when making statements in Parliament.
This is to keep public trust in Singapore’s parliamentary system, Mr Mah said before Parliament was adjourned on Friday.
Without identifying the MP, Mr Mah, who is also the National Development Minister, said a member of the House had criticised the media based on unverified information.
The member in question was MP for Tampines, Sin Boon Ann, who on Wednesday quoted an unsubstantiated e-mail he received, alleging the media was biased in its reporting of the AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research) saga. He had since apologised in Parliament.
Mr Mah said members are granted immunity from civil or criminal proceedings when speaking in Parliament. This is to allow the House to perform its functions without fear or favour.
“However, I wish to remind members that such a privilege should be exercised responsibly in the public interest. Members have a duty not to criticise any person or body unless they are satisfied these criticisms have a basis,” he said.
“If members wish to rely on third-person reports or hearsay, they should first take steps to verify the identity of the authors and the accuracy of the statements,” Mr Mah added.