If the Parti Liyani’s case is of that much concern to WP and Sylvia Lim, then she should have put in a full motion for a full debate in Parliament, former NMP Calvin Cheng said.
What is an Adjournment Motion?
“An adjournment motion is when a backbencher wants to speak on something at the END of the parliamentary session. Before it is ADJOURNED,” said Calvin.
The backbencher MP gets to speak for 20 minutes, and then a Minister replies for 10 minutes, Calvin explained in a Facebook post.
That’s all there is to it.
“I have never actually heard any particularly important topic ever being brought up in an adjournment motion,” declared Calvin.
Adjournment Motion is extremely restricted
An Adjournment Motion, Calvin explained, is extremely restricted because of its format.
One reason he gave is that the MP who puts in the motion speaks, the minister replies and nobody else gets to speak.
A second reason is that it takes place at the end of the session when ‘attentions are waning’, MPs might have left given that they are not allowed to participate in the adjournment motion.
“For these reasons, adjournment motions are never used for weighty subjects. WP veteran MP Sylvia Lim should know this,” Calvin said.
“If she wanted to have a full debate, she would have put in a full motion,” Calvin added.
What is a full motion?
A full motion requires a proposer and a seconder. They submit a full motion for Parliament to debate.
In a full motion, every MP is allowed to speak, question, and debate. It does not take place at the end of the sitting. Time is scheduled for it when Parliament is in full session.
Why didn’t Sylvia Lim put in a full motion if the issue is so important?
“So the question is if this issue were so important, why didn’t MP Sylvia Lim put in a full motion?” Calvin asked. “Let’s not play games here,” he added
There will be a Ministerial Statement regarding Parti’s case.
All MPs will have a chance to debate and question after that.
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What’s being denied? Political theatre at the end of a day.
“All that is denied is the political theatre of Sylvia Lim wanting the last word when everybody is ready to go home for the day,” Calvin said.
Calvin Cheng has this advice for Sylvia Lim and WP:
If it is so important, put in a full motion. Explain to your supporters why. Don’t keep quiet and let the opposition supporters get upset over your political games.