Bye to by-elections

The Rhetoric

“I am not saying: ‘No, let us be celibate. I am not even asking that all be faithful to our wives. Let us have no divorces. I do not ask that. All I ask is, please do not misbehave yourself. Anybody who has a paternity suit against him, he is out and there will be a by-election.”
Lee Kuan Yew in 1977, quoted by Straits Times INSIGHT on opposition NCMP Steve Chia, Dec 27, 2003

The Reality

“…apart from the one in the Prime Minister’s Marine Parade constituency in 1992, no by-election has been called in Singapore since 1981, when the then Workers’ Party chief J.B. Jeyaretnam broke the PAP’s monopoly in Parliament by winning the Anson seat. Once bitten twice shy, the PAP Government refused to hold one in Jalan Besar GRC a few years ago, despite the fact that one of the MPs in the four-member team, Mr Choo Wee Khiang, had to vacate his seat after being convicted on criminal charges.”
Chua Lee Hoong, Straits Times, Oct 27, 2001

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