Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Michael Palmer has resigned as an MP following his admission of affair

Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament Michael Palmer has resigned today from both of the positions following his admission today of a relationship with a member of the People's Association staff. He made the stunning announcement at a press conference in the PAP headquarters this afternoon:

"I have resigned to take full responsibility for a grave mistake that I have committed. I had a relationship with a member of the PA staff working in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC," said Mr Palmer at the press conference. "While the individual did not work with me directly, Punggol East used to be part of the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and continues to work with it," said Mr Palmer.

"My conduct was improper and it was a serious error of judgment. I have resigned in order to avoid further embarrassment to the PAP and to Parliament."

Who is the woman with whom Michael Palmer had affair? The woman in Michael Palmer affair identified as Ms Laura Ong, a constituency director of Pasir Ris West Constituency Office:
In a statement on Wednesday night, it said she tendered her resignation on Dec 10, citing family commitments. "The People's Association has accepted her resignation," said the spokesman. 
Ms Laura Ong is understood to be the woman whom former Speaker of the House Michael Palmer had an extra-marital affair with.Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Palmer announced his resignation as Speaker and MP for Punggol East.
According to Singapore's The Straits Times, 33-year-old Laura Ong is married but she has separated from her husband before her affair with Michael Palmer  who quoted her colleagues as saying she was lively, mature and capable and that was she was an avid golfer.

UPDATE: A news released in The Straits Times today Laura Ong was dating Michael Palmer and another man.

Michael Palmer was elected as the MP for Punggol East Single Member Constituency (Punggol East SMC) after defeating candidates from the Workers' Party and the Singapore Democratic Alliance. The 44-year-old lawyer, who is married with one child, was then nominated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the post of Speaker of Parliament, and was elected to this role by the House on 10 October 2011.

Laura Ong Michael Palmer affair
Ms. Laura Ong is said to be the woman whom
former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer
had an extra-marital affair with.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted Mr Michael Palmer's Resignation letter on his Facebook as well as his acceptance letter.
It was with great sadness that I accepted Speaker Michael Palmer’s resignation today. He has worked hard as an MP and been a good Speaker. But all MPs and Grassroots Advisors must uphold high standards of propriety and personal conduct, especially when dealing with constituents, activists, and staff. Mr Palmer’s letter to me, and my reply, set out what this is about. I wish Mr Palmer and his family well. - LHL
Source :  Mr Michael Palmer's Resignation
Watch video Michael Palmer on his resignation from the PAP and as MP of Punggol East SMC
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who appeared alongside Palmer at the press conference, said the party first found out about the matter on Saturday and that Palmer offered to resigned on the same evening.
DPM Teo, also the PAP's first assistant secretary-general, apologised to residents of Punggol East and said, "We will put things right and continue to look after you."
Teo Ser Luck will take over Palmer's MP role in the constituency, while Charles Chong will take over the role of Acting Speaker of Parliament. 
Palmer's resignation comes on the back of a series of high-profile sex scandals involving politicians and top civil servants in the past year. 
Source : Yahoo sg
Meanwhile, The Workers' Party has called for a by-election to be held in Punggol-East single member constituency.
WP noted that Mr Palmer had resigned from the PAP and said that under Article 46 of the Constitution, Punggol East SMC has become vacant. 
"In order that the residents of Punggol East SMC are properly represented, the Workers' Party urges the Prime Minister to call a by-election in the constituency as soon as possible," said WP. 
Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer resigned as an MP today after revealing that he that he had been involved in an extramarital affair.
Source : WP calls for by-election, stakes claim on Punggol-East
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday evening that he would "carefully consider" whether and when to call a by-election in Punggol East following the resignation of the constituency's elected representative.

"Mr Palmer has just resigned today. My first priority is to ensure that the residents of Punggol East continue to be well taken care of," he said. 
Lee, who is also secretary-general of the ruling People's Action Party, pointed out that they are focused on several national issues and preparing for the Budget next year. 
"The Constitution does not require me to call a by-election within any fixed timeframe," he noted, adding an assurance that he would make his decision "based on what is best for the constituents of Punggol East and the country". Source : I will consider whether to call a by-election for Punggol East: PM Lee

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