Not lifting the whip doesn’t prevent PAP MPs to air views: Murali Pillai


Not lifting the whip doesn’t mean that Members of Parliament cannot express their views in a debate, said MP Mr Murali Pillai.

He was speaking at the debate on the repeal of Section 377A and amendment of the Constitution which started today (Nov 28) in Parliament. 

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Mr Pritam Singh said in his speech that he will be lifting the WP’s Whip for this debate.

He said:” Given the varied public opinion on the impending repeal of 377A, there is a risk that the democratic value of Parliament could be diluted if the views of Singaporeans on this subject are
not adequately ventilated in this House.”

To this, Mr Pillai provided a clarification.

“I understand from the Leader of Opposition that he decided to lift the whip. I just want to clarify that while the whip is not lifted for the People’s Action Party, it does not prevent any MP from my party to speak his views and I will shortly speak my views,” he said.

What or who is the Whip?

According to the Singapore Parliament, the Whip, also known as the disciplinarian of a political party, ensures that there are sufficient party members in the Chamber to support the party’s position and that MPs vote according to the party’s line. Occasionally, the Whip may “lift the whip” and allow MPs to vote according to their conscience.

Our Party Whip is Senior Minister of State Janil Puthucheary.

So in a nutshell, the whip system deals with voting and has nothing to do with expressing viewpoints.