14 January 2013 13:30 | By Ilsa Chan
Showdown at Punggol East

The Michael Palmer Affair



Mr Michael Palmer (© Photo: CNA)
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The Michael Palmer affair

Michael Palmer’s shocking resignation from his posts as Speaker of the House and MP for Punggol East on December 12, over an extramarital affair with a People’s Association staff member, 33-year-old Laura Ong, was the start of it all.

Speculation was rife that it was leaked SMS messages and emails, apparently sent from an unknown source to a local tabloid, that led to Mr Palmer’s sudden resignation. Ms Ong’s alleged boyfriend was rumoured to be the whistleblower and she reportedly tendered her resignation on December 10, citing family commitments. 

A lawyer by training and partner at Harry Elias law firm, Mr Palmer was Singapore’s 8th and youngest Speaker of Parliament after being elected in October 2011 with the Prime Minister’s nomination.

The 44-year-old married father of one was first elected MP for Paris Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in 2006 and then elected to take the single-member seat for Punggol East in the 2011 General Election.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Halimah Yacob has been named as PAP’s pick for Speaker of Parliament and is slated to be appointed to the post when Parliament sits on January 14.

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