Explainer: Is there potential conflict of interest when MPs hold full-time private sector jobs and what are the safeguards?

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SINGAPORE — Since tech and ride-sharing company Grab announced the appointment of Ms Tin Pei Ling as its new director of public affairs and policy on Wednesday (Feb 1), there has been a public debate on the potentia

SINGAPORE — Since tech and ride-sharing company Grab announced the appointment of Ms Tin Pei Ling as its new director of public affairs and policy on Wednesday , there has been much online discussion about the potential conflict of interest with her role as Member of Parliament for MacPherson.

TODAY spoke to analysts on why this news has sparked much debate and how MPs deal with potential conflicts of interest.MPs can hold full-time jobs as well as executive, advisory and directorship positions, and it is a very common practice, said Professor Mak Yuen Teen, a corporate governance expert who is professor of accounting at the National University of Singapore .

This also applies to opposition MPs, he said, noting that former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang was also a businessman. Associate Professor Chong Ja Ian of NUS' Department of Political Science said that in looking at whether MPs can hold external positions, there are three issues to consider. The third issue is public perception. “The impression — even if in error — that businesses can have special access through the hiring of MPs may foster doubt in the minds of the public about a key national institution — in this case, the Parliament,” said Assoc Prof Chong.

Assoc Prof Chong said that while it is possible for conflicts of interest to arise, depending on the issues that a parliamentary committee might have to handle, MPs"could recuse themselves should they have concerns about conflicts of interest".

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)


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Definitely there is a conflict of interest when PAP MP do private jobs.

Why not she just resign as MP? Not like this country needs her so badly right? She doesn't need to worry that this country will collapse without her as a MP.. she isn't that important tbh...

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