Parliament cannot question academics? Bollocks. 

Parliament is sovereign.

And by sovereign, it means that it can do anything it pleases. It can intern whomever it wants. It can question anyone, raise any subject, pass any law whatsoever, howsoever.  It is iudicium finitum, the final say, on any matter brought before the nation. Its powers are unlimited and unbound. 

Why? Because Parliament is the highest body of decision making in a country and its members are elected by its very citizens. 

This means that not only does Parliament have absolute right to do these things, it has an obligation to. 

If an academic wants to raise a dissenting opinion on the history of Singapore, it better be able to stand up to a robust challenge by someone. Even if you want to so much as post something on Wikipedia, you better be able to stand up to the challenge by peers.

For PJ Thum to have to rely on his colleagues to drum up support (engineered support no less) to help him, it merely means one thing: what he has presented is, in artful street English: bollocks. 

Having had cracked under Select Committee scrutiny, he had then to rely on social media open letters and foreign help to justify a bit of writing he had presented. Put this picture into perspective: he’s asking a team of foreign persons to say that Singapore has got its history wrong. 

How absurd does that sound?

His foreign friends are literally saying that Parliament “has no authority to question the work of academics”.

I wonder how would members of Congress or the House of Commons react if the very words were said to them: that they have no right to question the works of academics. 

Mind you, Parliament can impeach and execute kings if they so wished. And they had

Singapore’s Parliament is sovereign and anyone who says that it doesn’t have a right to question any person had better had their credentials rechecked. 

About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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