ST Forum: NMP in no way overstepped his role (Oct 18)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I WRITE in response to Ms Jenica Chua Chor Ping's letter, 'NMP overstepped role in championing gay cause' (ST, Oct 17).

While Mr Siew Kum Hong is supposed to be non-partisan as a Nominated MP, the non-partisan nature of his appointment refers to neutrality where party political affiliation is concerned.

It does not mean that he should remain non-partisan on matters of great public interest, such as the debate on whether Section 377A of the Penal Code should be repealed. Otherwise, what would be the value of appointing NMPs?

Indeed, the constitutional provision for the appointment of NMPs in 1990 was made to ensure a wide representation of community views in Parliament.

This being the case, there is nothing wrong with NMPs choosing to represent community views that they believe are valid and justified.

Thus Mr Siew, in sponsoring the Parliamentary Petition to repeal Section 377A, has in no way overstepped his role as an NMP.

In fact, considering that Mr Siew is a 'straight' man and has therefore no cause to be associated with homosexuality, his willingness to represent that community's views in relation to the repeal, in the face of widespread opposition, is admirable and should be applauded.

Ooi Jian Yuan