SINGAPORE - Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Inderjit Singh has taken to social media to affirm that he is still a member of the People's Action Party. He also said he will still be assisting PM Lee Hsien Loong in his election campaign in Ang Mo Kio.
His latest post on Tuesday came after he announced his retirement from politics at the next election. His announcement about his retirement on Facebook came shortly after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee released its report on boundary changes.
Online talk by netizens and news websites was set abuzz with speculation that Mr Inderjit was quitting the party.
Some websites and commentators reposted his old speeches on the White Paper that was made in Parliament, and a social media post in response to the President's address.
Reacting to the online buzz, Mr Inderjit said on his Facebook page: "I read with amusement that some people have taken my old speeches and reposted them with a headline that I have left the PAP. The white paper speech was made in early 2013 and the one on the response to the president address was posted in May 2014.
"I requested to PM to allow me to step down as an MP on 2nd January 2013 as I have contributed almost 20 years as an MP and wanted to spend time on my work and family."
On Sunday, Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen told the media in an interview: "We want to handle the retirement of our MPs more smoothly and I would prefer a more deliberate and a dignified manner," he said. "You can post your retirement on Facebook, but I think as an MP who has served 15, 20, even 30 years - that's not the best way to do it."
Many online took it to understand that Mr Inderjit was retiring from the party, as there were no other MPs who have announced their retirement.
When asked to comment, The Straits Times reported that Mr Singh replied: "If there was infighting, would I be helping PM Lee with his campaign?"
Dr Ng also told The Straits Times separately: "When I read that Inderjit was retiring, two thoughts came into my mind. First, that at 55, he had many more years to contribute, and was big-hearted to retire now, so that younger candidates could stand in his place.
"I have great respect for Inderjit and learnt from his many good speeches in Parliament. He has a heart for the daily struggles of Singaporeans and could put it across in heartfelt and effective ways. When he spoke, Ministers took note, and followed up. He was a people's MP.
"Second, I thought we should do better than just Facebook postings for retiring MPs. After many years of service, the party should try to find a more dignified and deliberate way to announce their retirement. So when we announce new candidates, whenever possible, we will do it together with their retiring MPs, that they are taking over. I hope this approach will do justice to the many years of contribution that MPs like Inderjit have given to serve their residents."