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Why is Election Department silent on pro-PAP Facebook page’s post on Polling Day?

eldUnder the Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA), “election advertising” is prohibited on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day.

That much is clear.

What is not so clear is what constitutes “election advertising”.

This was a question raised in Parliament in April 2010, when the Amendment Bill was being debated.

People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP), Ellen Lee, and then Nominated MP, Viswa Sadasivan, had both asked the Law Minister, K Shanmugam, to explain the phrase.

Ms Lee’s question is particularly relevant to the issue being raised in this article.

“The Bill does not clarify exactly what constitutes election advertising and I submit that some clarity on this will be useful,” she told the House. “For example, is expressing one’s opinion(s) on local current affairs be deemed elections advertising and thus prohibited?  How about reader’s comments on blogs and posts on online forums including “status updates”, comments on “Wall” and “photos” on Facebook?”

Do note the mention of “photos” on Facebook as this will be relevant later in this article. Read More…

PEA allows “transmission of personal political views on the Internet” – or does it not?


The ongoing police investigations into the alleged Cooling-off Day breaches are puzzling for several reasons. I would like to highlight one of these here, and it is what I would argue would be at the centre of any court trial if the accused – Teo Soh Lung, Roy Ngerng, in particular – are charged.

But first, the Elections Department (ELD) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) issued a joint-statement on 1 June 2016, “in response to media queries”. (See here.)

That in itself is puzzling for very obvious reasons. Let us remember that it was the ELD which had filed the complaint with the SPF.

So, why would or how could the supposedly neutral SPF, which is still conducting its investigations, issue a joint-statement with the complainant (ELD)?

Such a thing would give rise to charges of bias, that the SPF – in standing with the ELD, as it were – has already compromised its own neutrality.

Justice, as they say, must not only be done but be seen to be done. Read More…

Your argument applies to the PAP as well, Dr Lee

Dr Lee

Dr Lee

After the uproar over the personal attacks by the People’s Action Party (PAP) on Dr Chee Soon Juan, the sister of the Prime Minister – Dr Lee Wei Ling – launched another criticism of the SDP leader.

Writing on her Facebook page on Thursday, Dr Lee responded to her name being used as a signatory of an online letter calling on the PAP to stop its “gutter politics”. Dr Lee clarified that she had not signed the letter.

Then she launched her attack on Dr Chee, saying that “his true nature should be fully exposed.”

She added:

“Last week, he allowed his speakers to attack David Ong and then came on stage and pretended to be magnanimous and said we should not attack character. When pressed, he admitted he knew what the fellow speakers were going to say.” Read More…

Why Murali can still be in Parliament – even if he loses in Bukit Batok

Cartoon from Ryan Keith Smith Facebook

Cartoon from Ryan Keith Smith Facebook

The by-election will come to an end soon, and residents of Bukit Batok will have to decide who they will vote for.

Here is my two cents’ worth, to try and explain why you need not vote for the PAP candidate, Murali Pillai.

Murali is, from some accounts, a decent chap.

While he had lost control of his own campaign – allowing his party leaders to hijack and and turn it into a mudslinging one – he tried to distance himself from his foulmouthed seniors.

But being nice does not cut it.

There are already 81 other PAP MPs firmly ensconced in Parliament presently. Murali has to stand out, be different, if he is to bring any value to the table. As far as I can see, I do not see anything special from the man.

He is just another run-of-the-mill PAP MP, promising the same old stale carrots.

If he were regarded as anything or anyone special, he would have been sheltered under the skirts of senior ministers in the general election last year, and handheld into Parliament.

But he was not – which speaks to the value his own party sees in him. Read More…

Murali loses control of own campaign; distances himself from party leaders’ gutter politics



The backlash against the People’s Action Party (PAP) leaders’ personal attacks against Dr Chee Soon Juan has been swift and shrill.

In fact, the negative reaction has been so stunning that even its own candidate, Murali Pillai, has “attempted to distance himself from the war of words in which his party seniors are engaged in with the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

It is also a sign that Mr Murali himself, an experienced lawyer with a top law firm here, has lost control of his own election campaign in Bukit Batok – and how his campaign would become a sham if the vileness of his leaders’ character assassination methods continued.

It seems there are two sides to Mr Murali’s campaign: one, DPM Tharman pledging to fight a clean campaign; and two, an unclean campaign being waged against the SDP by his party leaders.

Did ministers like Grace Fu and Halimah Yacob and the secretary general himself not receive the memo from Mr Tharman about keeping it clean?

Or are Tharman’s words worthless?

Whatever it is, the PAP candidate himself apparently finds the character assasination such a vile thing that he has attempted to distance himself from it.

‘According to the TODAY newspaper on Sunday:

“Asked about the SDP’s rebuttal that the ruling party was engaging in “character assassination”, Mr Murali said he would like to focus on his own agenda.”

Mr Murali, wisely, side-stepped the issue completely, perhaps knowing that getting drawn into it will only lower himself to the pits of mediocrity, and raise further questions about the control he has over his own campaign. Read More…

Disgraceful, Grace Fu


So, as I had expected, it didn’t take long for the PAP to resort to below-the-belt attacks on Dr Chee Soon Juan – again.

Just a day after Nomination Day, at her party’s first rally for the Bukit Batok by-election, the Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Grace Fu, apparently launched an ad hominem volley at the SDP secretary general.

“He wants to be a full-time MP,” Ms Fu said, referring to Dr Chee. “As far as I know he’s not held a full-time job for a long time… The work experience is essential. It’ll be interesting to see if there is a referral letter from Chiam See Tong.”

First, it is a rather uncultured remark from a minister of culture. Yes, ironic.

Second, Ms Fu’s remarks would actually bring the same question to her colleagues, many of whom are helicoptered into ministries and GLCs and associations without any thread of relevant experience.

Lee Bee Wah in the table tennis association, for example.

Tin Pei Ling as some adviser in a football club.

And what about the many ministers over the years – perhaps including Grace Fu herself – who were sheltered into the ministries without any relevant experience.

Vivian Balakrishnan, an eye doctor, for example. Read More…

Murali’s unnecessary spending

TODAY, 8 September 2016

TODAY, 8 September 2016

The PAP candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election has promised a S$1.9m estate upgrading plan which will be implemented if he is elected as its Member of Parliament.

Before we readily applaud this, let us go back about 7 months – to September 2015, in the heat of the general election.

The former incumbent MP of the ward, David Ong – who has since resigned his position after some personal indiscretions – had promised a 5-year plan for Bukit Batok.

The plans would cost S$24 million.

According to news reports of his rally speech then, Mr Ong announced that this would include remaking the market in the estate and its surrounding areas, improving the shops in the ward, constructing a new hawker centre, as well as a new eldercare centre and two new early childhood education centres. Read More…

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