PAP was 'swift and resolute'

The PAP held a press conference on Wednesday to announce Mr Michael Palmer's resignation four days after he told Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean about his extramarital affair.

SINGAPORE - When Mr Michael Palmer stepped down as the Speaker of the House of Parliament and Member of Parliament on Wednesday, comparisons were drawn between him and former Workers' Party (WP) MP Yaw Shin Leong.

Mr Palmer had admitted to an improper relationship with a member of the People's Association in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

This admission sparked an online furore.

Mr Palmer became a frequent search term on the Internet. On Twitter, his name has been used as a hashtag for every tweet related to him.

In February, WP expelled its MP for Hougang, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, after he failed to account for his alleged extramarital affairs.

The New Paper spoke to three political observers, who agreed that the People's Action Party handled Mr Palmer's incident professionally.

When rumours of Mr Yaw's alleged indiscretions surfaced, WP remained silent. It was only weeks later that Mr Yaw was expelled.

In Mr Palmer's case, the PAP held a press conference to announce his resignation four days after he told Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean about his affair.

Former National Solidarity Party secretary-general Goh Meng Seng compared Mr Yaw's case to Mr Palmer's.

"The way you handle the problem reflects how you are as a person. I think Mr Yaw's way of handling matters was not very responsible,' said Mr Goh, who runs a blog called Singapore Alternatives.

At the press conference on Wednesday, DPM Teo said: "We try and do our best to choose people carefully and most selection systems will be foolproof, and sometimes problems will emerge, even many years after an appointment or selection.

"But I think the important thing to do is when such an event... does occur or arise, we have to act properly and that is the most important thing - to respond in the right manner, openly and decide quickly."

Michael Palmer's political career
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: SPH, Internet)

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