Assistant Professor of Law & Nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan had made it crystal clear:
Article 49 (1) of our Constitution provides that an election “shall” be called when an elected parliamentary seat is vacated. The Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA) provides for the same.
Further, Section 52 of the Interpretation Act states: “Where no time is prescribed or allowed within which anything shall be done, that thing shall be done with all convenient speed and as often as the prescribed occasion arises.”
Constitutional law professor Thio Li-ann and adjunct law professor Kevin Tan, both lecturing at the National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as assistant professor in constitutional law at Singapore Management University (SMU) Jack Lee, concur with Mr Tan.
To hear Hri Kumar (Senior Counsel Drew & Napier LLC & Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP) say, "Article 49 of the Constitution does not say that an election shall be “called” to fill a vacant seat. It simply prescribes that the vacant seat “shall be filled by election” reminds me of a former boss's frustrating experience with a retard.
General Manager Hancock was stationed in Manila when he received a letter from the bank to collect a new check book. After navigating the horrendous traffic of Makati to the bank building, he was told that his check book was not ready for collection. Fuming mad, Hancock showed the letter to the officer. The latter read it calmly and said, "Yes, the letter states that the check book is ready for collection. But it doesn't say "when"."
We all know that Hri Kumar is not a stupid man - that would be an insult to all appointed senior counsels - he's being devious for a good reason. He states that reason thus; "But Hougang is a hot seat...The by-election will surely generate much heat and debate across the island." He's not just saying that the kitchen is too hot, and the PM should get out of it, he's telling us that the PM is too cowardly to face the electorate.