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India-born Singaporean politician calls it quits

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Singapore: An Indian-born Singaporean member of parliament has decided against contesting the upcoming general elections, the media reported on Saturday.

picture from- newnation.sg
picture from- newnation.sg

Following the release of the Electoral Boundary Review Committee’s report on Friday, Inderjit Singh posted on Facebook that he would be stepping down.

He thanked the people of Kebun Baru area in central Singapore for their consistent support.

“I did my best to serve them and this would not have been possible without my team, the grassroots leaders and branch activists at Kebun Baru who have become my extended family,” Channel News Asia cited Singh as saying.

“I urge the residents at Kebun Baru to continue supporting the team which will be helmed by my successor. To Kebun Baru, Ang Mo Kio and everyone there, you will always be in my heart,” the 55-year-old veteran wrote on Facebook.

Singh, along with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, served the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC) since 1996.

Born in Punjab, Singh attended Kaki Bukit Primary School in Singapore and earned Bachelor’s of Engineering (Electrical and Electronics) degree from Nanyang Technological University in 1985.

During this period, Singh became the first chairperson of the students’ union council.

He became an active grassroots leader in 1984 and a member of Parliament for the Kebun Baru ward in the 1996 general elections under the governing People’s Action Party banner.

From 1985, Singh worked as an engineer for 13 years. After the stint, Singh began a career in entrepreneurship. Later, he founded the United Test and Assembly Center (UTAC), a semiconductor firm, in 1998.

(IANS)

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President’s Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional: Sri Lanka’s Court

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka's parliament into chaos.

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Sri Lanka, Parliament, Prime minister
Supporters of ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrate outside the supreme court complex in Colombo. VOA

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to dissolve parliament last month was illegal.

In a unanimous decision announced Thursday, the seven-member court said that Sirisena violated the constitution when he called a snap election nearly two years before the parliamentary session was due to end.

The decision adds another chapter to a political crisis that began on on October 26, when President Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that an informant told police that a Cabinet minister was part of a plot to assassinate him.

Sri Lanka, parliament
Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Oct. 29, 2018. VOA

He replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former president and strongman, then suspended parliament the next day. In an apparent bow to international pressure, Sirisena summoned lawmakers back to work last Monday.

But when it became apparent that Rajapaksa would not survive a no-confidence vote, Sirisena dissolved parliament on November 9 and called for snap elections. The Supreme Court overruled the president’s decree in a ruling issued just days later.

Wickremesinghe has remained in the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo in defiance of Sirisena’s actions.

Sri Lanka, Parliament
Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa speaks during the parliament session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018. VOA

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka’s parliament into chaos. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya held a voice vote on November 14 on the no-confidence motion after Rajapaksa’s supporters staged an noisy, impromptu protest in the chamber before debate began.

Also Read: Sri Lanka On The Brink of ‘Economic Anarchy’

The next day, rival lawmakers exchanged blows after Jayasuriya declared that Sri Lanka had no prime minister or a cabinet, with some of Rajapaksa’s supporters hurling water bottles and other objects at Jayasuriya. (VOA)