|Pritam Singh and Chen were victims of "technical difficulties"|
77 approved (all PAP members of parliament);
13 said no, including all 9 Workers' Party Parliamentarians, 1 Non-Constituency MP (Lina Chiam) and 3 Nominated MPs (Laurence Lien, Faizah Jamal, and Janice Koh);
1 abstained (Nominated MP Eugene Tan);
8 were absent, one ostensibly being Lee Kuan Yew.
Assuming the rest of the 5 NMPs absented themselves (Tan Su Shan, Dhinakaran, Mary Liew, Teo Siong Seng, Nicholas Fang), 2 PAP MPs are unaccounted for. Maybe they are planning ahead to join George Yeo in Hong Kong. Inderjit Singh must be glad his wayang role in the good cop/bad cop episode is over, and he can safely vote according to party instructions, and not what's truly in his heart of hearts. Or did he? Singh will only admit, "All I want to say is I was not present for the vote." The exercise clearly demonstrates why the number of alternate party voices in parliament must increase.
The TV commentator claimed Lee Hsien Loong was teary eyed at one stage, as he made a final plea to a sceptical Singapore, talking about the importance of retaining a "Singapore core" of people who have families and homes here and who were willing to defend the nation. Without elaborating on his definition of "nation". Sure, his father promised to build a metropolis 10 years after being turfed out of Malaysia, but even the old man must have been thinking of a Singapore for Singaporeans. Not mainland Chinese, Filipinos, Burmese, Vietnamese or Hindi speaking Indians. Remarkably, Lee junior still referred to the foreigners as "transients", completely ignorant of the many permanent jobs lost by the PMETs. He asked a curious question, "if the non-residents outnumber the core, are we being diluted?" Liddat can also become Prime Minister.
Lee senior must have good reason to miss the watershed vote. After all, this was the guy who promised in a 1988 National Day rally: "Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up."
Last to speak, Teo Chee Hean was obviously confident of the final tally, his mind already tuned out elsewhere when he addressed Halimah Yacob as "Madam Speaker, sir". So what if the policy was cut down to roadmap status, rightside up or upside down, with more than two thirds of the seats in parliament, these characters can even change the constitution at the snap of a finger. That's how much power the 60.1 percent has given them at GE 2011.