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The SDP stands with Mdm Vellama in her effort to seek a court declaration that by-elections are not an unfettered discretion of the prime minister to exercise but a right of voters to demand.$CUT$
The introduction of the GRC system was couched as a mechanism to guarantee the presence of ethnic minority MPs. While the argument was, at best, disingenuous, it is now used as a pretext to refuse by-elections for seats vacated by MPs belonging to a GRC.
The bigger picture is that the election system is not the Government’s to control and manipulate. Elections belong to the people and they must be conducted away from the control and influence of the ruling party.
Mdm Vellama’s court action is aimed at wresting such control away from the PAP and making the election system equitable and less arbitrary.
For this she deserves the support of all Singaporeans regardless of political affiliation. She is not taking the action for herself but for the greater good of society.
Her lawyer, Mr M Ravi, has also been doggedly pursuing justice and democracy through the legal system. He has no designs on political power and has demonstrated selflessness in his work.
As they carry on the fight in this case which is at the appeal stage after the High Court ruled against Mdm Vellama, they need the support of the people.
Singaporeans cannot stand by and let her and Mr Ravi do all the heavy lifting. This is not who we are. This is not what a people who are struggling for democracy do. If we are going to enjoy the fruits of democracy, it is incumbent upon all of us to roll up our sleeves and help to till the land.
The SDP stands with Mdm Vellama and we call on Singaporeans to do the same. We need more Singaporeans like her.
Read also TR Emeritus’ report on the case here.