Template:Infobox officeholder Michael Palmer (born 14 July 1968) is a Singaporean lawyer and former politician. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Singapore's governing People's Action Party (PAP) from 2006 to 2012, and was the Speaker of the House in the Parliament of Singapore from October 2011 to December 2012, when he resigned after it was revealed that he had been having an extra-marital affair with an employee of the People's Association (PA).[1]


Palmer was called to the Singapore Bar in 1995 and joined the law firm Harry Elias Partnership as a legal consultant. He became a partner at the firm in 1998.[2]

In April 2013, Palmer left Harry Elias Partnership and joined the law firm Lawrence Quahe & Woo.[3] The firm was renamed Quahe Woo & Palmer when he joined.[4]

Political careerEdit

Palmer was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) in the 2006 general election.

Palmer served as the Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2011, and as the Chairman of the Home Affairs and Law committee in 2011.

At the 2011 general election, Palmer was elected as the MP for Punggol East Single Member Constituency after defeating Lee Li Lian of the Workers' Party and Desmond Lim of the Singapore Democratic Alliance.[2] Palmer was then nominated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the post of Speaker of Parliament, and was elected to this role by the House on 10 October 2011.[5]

Palmer announced his resignation as Speaker of Parliament and MP for Punggol East (as well as from the PAP) on 12 December 2012 due to an extra-marital affair with Laura Ong Hui Hoon, constituency director of the People's Association (PA) office in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.[6][7] At an press conference, alongside Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Palmer admitted he had made "a grave mistake" and that it was "a serious error of judgment". He resigned "in order to avoid further embarrassment". The PA staff member concerned also resigned.[1] The PAP subsequently lost the by-election in Palmer's Punggol East constituency in January 2013 when Lee Li Lian of the Workers' Party (who Palmer had defeated in the 2011 general election) won the seat, defeating the PAP's candidate Koh Poh Koon.

Other rolesEdit

Palmer was also the Chairman of the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) Council. He was replaced by Assistant Commissioner Zuraidah as Covering Chairperson after the scandal.[8]


Palmer attended the St Andrew's family of schoolsSt Andrew's Junior School, St Andrew's Secondary School and St Andrew's Junior College – which is affiliated to the Anglican Church of Singapore. He later read law in University College London and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1992.


Palmer is married to Diane Palmer, with whom he has a son.[7] Palmer's father, Vernon Palmer, was a news presenter in Singapore.[9]


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  4. Michael Palmer leaves Harry Elias to join boutique law firm, The Straits Times, 4 April 2013.
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External linksEdit



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