Bringing The GE To You | #GE2020

Bringing The GE To You | #GE2020

Singapore-General-Election-2020-MONEYFM89.3-Bringing The GE To You

27 July: Hard Truths from GE2020 with Minister K. Shanmugam

Claressa Monteiro speaks to K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law to find out what his takeaways are from the recent GE2020, examines challenges the country faces and explores the question of succession.

27 July: Singapore GE2020: Economic pain and desire for diversity of voices are two key messages from voters, says Shanmugam


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The deep economic pain being felt by Singaporeans due to Covid-19 and a desire for diversity in Parliament are the two key messages voters sent the Government in the recent general election, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said.

While the nearly $100 billion package assembled across four Budgets has helped blunt some of the impact of the pandemic, segments of the population - including those aged between 40 and 60 as well as small businesses in sectors like construction - are hurting very badly, Mr Shanmugam said in an interview with MONEY FM 89.3's Claressa Monteiro broadcast on Monday (July 27).

That is why apart from short-term "blood transfusions", the Government is focused on saving Singaporean jobs. And where that cannot be done, it has to "try and save every Singaporean - try and train them, give them other options to tide through this period".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 July: Dr Felix Tan on Prime Minister Lee's New Cabinet

Dr. Felix Tan Thiam Kim, Associate Lecturer, Singapore Institute of Management on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's new cabinet; the reshuffling of the ministers in 6 of the 15 ministries and the benefits and strategy behind these changes.

25 July: New Cabinet appointments: Changes at a glance


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (July 25) unveiled the new Cabinet line-up and other political appointments.

There will be seven new political office-holders, three office-holders will retire and six will be promoted. The new appointment holders will be sworn in at the Istana and Parliament House on Monday.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 July: Younger Singaporeans to decide where to draw boundaries on discussions on race and religion: Shanmugam


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore has not reached a post-racial state, hence there are strong government efforts and strict laws to ensure racial and religious harmony.

But going forward, younger Singaporeans must decide where to draw the boundaries on discussions on race and religion, and lead ground-up efforts to bring these difficult conversations into their respective communities, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Saturday (July 25).

In his opening remarks at an online dialogue on "Changing Times, Transforming Relationships" organised by OnePeople.sg, a national body that promotes racial and religious harmony, Mr Shanmugam said the framework within which Singapore has handled race relationships has worked well.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

#GE2020: Results

Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(WEB_5GRC) - MONEYFM89.3

Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(WEB_4GRC) - MONEYFM89.3

Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(WEB_SMC) - MONEYFM89.3

Source: Elections Department Singapore

19 July: New town council formed to serve Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Marymount SMC

SINGAPORE - A new town council that will serve both Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and the new Marymount SMC has been formed, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Dr Ng, 61, told The Straits Times on Sunday (July 19) that Ms Gan Siow Huang, 45, the newly-elected MP for Marymount, has been appointed as one of the town council's two vice-chairmen.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong, 54, is the new Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council's chairman, while Mr Saktiandi Supaat, 46, is the other vice-chairman.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

19 July: New Sengkang Town Council to be run on its own, WP's He Ting Ru to be chairman


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The newly elected Sengkang GRC MPs from the Workers' Party have informed the Ministry of National Development that they intend to run the new Sengkang Town Council on its own, without merging with any other constituency.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (July 19) to update residents on developments, WP's Sengkang team leader He Ting Ru also said she would chair the new town council.

She added that her team had written to both Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) and Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) on July 11 to request a preliminary meeting to discuss the handover.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

18 July: PAP's openness to sharing information will determine extent of realistic policy alternatives, says WP's Pritam Singh


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) will continue to give "forward-looking suggestions for the welfare of Singaporeans" despite facing resource constraints, said party chief Pritam Singh on Saturday (July 18).

He noted that unlike the Government, which can tap a 120,000-strong civil service as a resource for parliamentary debates, the WP continues to rely mainly on its volunteer base for political work.

"The extent to which realistic policy alternatives can be advanced both in public and in Parliament is also a function of the PAP's approach to democratic politics," said Mr Singh, who has been designated Leader of the Opposition.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

18 July: GE2020 results a ‘clear mandate’ although 61.2 per cent vote share lower than 65 per cent PAP hoped for: Lawrence Wong

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party won a clear mandate with a "solid majority" of 61.2 per cent of the votes at the general election, though the result was lower than the 65 per cent it had hoped for, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

That four percentage point gap translates to roughly about 100,000 votes lost, said the PAP central executive committee member on Saturday (July 18).

Speaking to reporters at the PAP's Bedok headquarters during a press conference that was also livestreamed to party activists, Mr Wong sought to put the election results in context, and set out several reasons for the PAP's performance.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

With 10 MPs, WP expected to surface alternative policies, not just question government ones: Lawrence Wong
Getting Singapore through Covid-19 comes first, succession matters will be dealt with later, says Lawrence Wong
GE2020: PAP has to work hard to appeal to young voters and address economic concerns, says Lawrence Wong

17 July: Political roundup post GE2020

Howie Lim spoke to The Straits Times Deputy Political Editor, Royston Sim for a round-up of key political announcements following this year's General Election.

17 July: GE2020: 10 million population not a goal but a planning parameter, says Liu Thai Ker


Source: Lianhe Zaobao

SINGAPORE - The 10 million population number was always a planning parameter and not a target for Singapore, said former chief planner Liu Thai Ker.

In an interview with Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao published on Friday (July 17), Mr Liu said sustainable development requires long-term planning.

If Singapore is to continue to preserve the quality of its landscape in spite of space and resource constraints, he said, it must plan on the basis of a large enough population.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

17 July: GE2020: Are GRCs still PAP fortresses after this GE?

Havens no more for ruling party, but system still a tough obstacle for opposition: Experts

In last Friday's general election, the Workers' Party (WP) made another breakthrough by wresting a second group representation constituency from the People's Action Party (PAP).

Opposition veteran Chiam See Tong had once described GRCs as "impenetrable fortresses", and argued that the opposition had to win at least one to dispel this impression.

But have the ruling party's losses in Aljunied and Sengkang, as well as its narrow wins in West Coast and East Coast, put paid to this belief?
Read the full article on The Straits Times

16 July: GE2020: Progress Singapore Party's Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa declared elected NCMPs


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Two candidates from the Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) losing team in West Coast GRC team have been declared elected Non-Constituency MPs.

Mr Leong Mun Wai and Ms Hazel Poa were chosen by their party to take up the two seats when the 14th Parliament sits at a date to be announced later.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

16 July: Singapore GE2020: Over 4,700 votes cast by citizens in polling stations abroad

More than 4,700 Singaporeans voted overseas in the July 10 General Election, largely following patterns similar to citizens who voted locally.

A few exceptions were seen in a number of hotly contested constituencies, where overseas voters supported the team that had lost.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

16 July: Singapore GE2020: Signs of young voters' crucial role in election outcome

Feb, post-GE polls show incidents during hustings may have caused youth swing towards opposition

The first signs that young voters might have been crucial in the outcome of last Friday's general election came early on Saturday morning as the results were still sinking in.

Asked at the People's Action Party's (PAP) press conference if the ruling party had lost the youth vote, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said young people have "very significantly different life aspirations and priorities". He had just seen a nearly nine-point vote swing against his party, with a record 10 opposition candidates winning seats in Parliament.

From analysts to politicians, many have since portrayed the swing against the PAP - almost every win came with a reduced share of the vote - as an indication of the need to better incorporate younger perspectives.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

15 July: GE2020 shows a new political culture of a 'kinder and gentler politics' is emerging, says Chan Heng Chee

SINGAPORE - The recent general election has made clear that a new political culture is emerging in Singapore, said Professor Chan Heng Chee on Wednesday (July 15).

The veteran diplomat noted how on one hand, the political style of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) emphasises strong government, effectiveness, a legalistic culture and the delivery of a better life for the people - which some have called paternalistic.

On the other hand, many citizens want to see Singapore evolve into a full-fledged democracy. Observers have also expressed a desire for rules to be applied to all political participants fairly, and for gerrymandering to be restrained, she noted.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

15 July: Singapore GE2020: Lessons learnt from Singapore's first true Internet election


Source: Meltwater / Straits Times Graphics

Online engagement, authenticity are vital, but may not always translate into votes

While physical rallies were absent during the hustings for the recently concluded general election, some politicians did not seem to need them.

By the midpoint of the campaign, Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock was able to reach out to 12,000 followers with each Instagram post - thrice the capacity of Clementi Stadium, where rallies for West Coast GRC were held in past elections.

The veteran politician wooed younger voters online by posting videos of himself responding to their attempts to educate him on slang terms like "woke".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

14 July: What the GE2020 results mean for our jobs & economic security

Howie Lim discusses with Adrian Choo, CEO and Co-founder of Career Agility International on what the results from GE2020 mean for our manpower sector here in Singapore.

14 July: GE2020: Singaporeans must work together and stay united to tackle Covid-19 challenges, says President Halimah


resident Halimah Yacob (second from left) and her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee (left), queueing to cast their votes at Chung Cheng High School (Main) on July 10, 2020.
Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans must work together and stay united to meet the challenges in a world seriously disrupted by Covid-19, said President Halimah Yacob.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 14), Madam Halimah said the huge turnout of voters on Polling Day augurs well for Singapore because it shows that Singaporeans take their right to vote seriously, and want to participate actively in the democratic process.

However, now that the election is over, she urged everyone to work together and stay united to meet the challenges ahead of them.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

14 July: Singapore GE2020: PSP chooses assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai and vice-chairman Hazel Poa as NCMPs


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has chosen assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai and vice-chairman Hazel Poa to fill the two Non-Constituency MP positions it secured in the recent general election.

The announcement was made by party chief Tan Cheng Bock on Tuesday (July 14) in a press conference at PSP's headquarters in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

13 July: In the Spotlight: What next for politics in Singapore?

Singaporeans woke up on Saturday morning to a familiar headline - that the People's Action Party (PAP) was back in government - but also to a new normal, of an entrenched opposition party in Parliament - Does this really spell a new era for politics in Singapore? Rachel Kelly spoke to Dr Gillian Koh, Deputy Director (Research), Institute of Policy Studies to breakdown the biggest events of GE202 and what this means for the future of Singapore's political landscape.

13 July: Diversity following Singapore's election

Michelle Martin speaks to Mano Sabnani, Veteran Journalist and former editor of The Business Times to discuss a breakdown of the election results, a watershed election and the implications of the election on Singapore's business environment.

13 July: GE2020 Highlights: How Singapore politics is evolving

Held against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Singapore's 13th General Election concluded with the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) producing their 3rd lowest ever mandate with 61.24% share of votes. Eugene Tan, Associate Professor of Law, Singapore Management University and PN Balji, Political Commentator & Veteran Journalist, discuss the plans that worked/backfired, what's on the top of the PAP's to-do list, and how the political landscape will evolve with more opposition voices in Parliament especially with Workers' Party's Pritam Singh officially recognised as leader of the opposition.

13 July: Singapore GE2020: ELD to thoroughly review what went wrong on Polling Day


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Elections Department (ELD) on Monday (July 13) said it will conduct a thorough review of what went wrong on Polling Day last Friday that slowed down the voting process.

Long queues had formed at some polling stations from the morning, and polling hours were eventually extended from 8pm to 10pm so that all voters could cast their votes.

The ELD again apologised for the inconvenience caused to voters, especially to senior citizens, and acknowledged that measures put in place to protect the health of voters, candidates and officials had "reduced the efficiency voters were used to in previous elections".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

13 July: Singapore GE2020: Newly elected MPs begin meet-the-people sessions over phone and Internet


Source: Facebook

SINGAPORE - Newly elected Members of Parliament have begun their duties, with several notifying residents via Facebook posts of the resumption of meet-the-people sessions (MPS).

These sessions will mostly take place virtually for now due to social distancing rules in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

13 July: Tharman explains appearance of Ivan Lim on livestream


Source: Jurong GRC Facebook

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday explained the appearance of Mr Ivan Lim during a Facebook livestream, saying it was a move to acknowledge his work and allow him to thank residents for their support.

The livestream on the Jurong GRC Facebook page premiered on Saturday morning shortly after it was announced that the People's Action Party (PAP) team led by Mr Tharman had secured 74.62 per cent of the votes against Red Dot United in the general election.

The livestream had featured the other members of the PAP team along with Mr Lim, 42, who withdrew his candidacy before Nomination Day after receiving criticism from various quarters online over his character and conduct.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

13 July: PSP vows to continue serving residents across Singapore


Source: The Straits Times

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will continue to serve residents across Singapore despite not winning any constituencies in last Friday's general election, said party chief Tan Cheng Bock yesterday.

The party got 48.31 per cent of the votes against the People's Action Party (PAP) team in West Coast GRC, and the narrowest percentage margin obtained by a losing opposition team earned the PSP two Non-Constituency MP seats in the next Parliament.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

13 July: Tan Chuan-Jin: PAP will have to review broader issues behind vote swing

The People's Action Party (PAP) will have to examine what are the broader issues that caused a swing in votes against it at the general election, said Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday.

He noted that the ruling party saw an overall swing against it across the board, including in his Marine Parade GRC.

The PAP garnered 61.24 per cent of the popular vote, and saw its vote share fall in every group representation constituency and single seat that it contested compared with the 2015 election, with the exception of MacPherson and Mountbatten SMCs.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

12 July: Nicholas Fang's overview on the GE2020 results

Nicholas Fang, Former Nominated Member of Parliament, and Founder of a strategic communications consultancy and market research agency shares on the impact of Workers’ Party Chief, Pritam Singh being named the Opposition Leader and what he thinks the opposition voice will bring to political discourse regarding issues of importance to Singaporeans.

12 July: The social media impact on Singapore's GE2020

Natalie Pang, Senior Lecturer, NUS shares on the social media effect on GE2020 and the possible impact on the political landscape in Singapore, as well as the generational shift where older Singaporeans are using social media more.

12 July: Singapore GE2020: Workers' Party ready to work with NCMPs from other opposition parties in Parliament, says Sylvia Lim


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party is ready to work with other opposition parties to play the role of a rational and constructive opposition in Parliament, said party chairman Sylvia Lim on Sunday (July 12).

Speaking at a press conference held over an online video-conference on Sunday, she said: "There will be ample opportunity, I believe, in the coming years for us to work collaboratively as much as possible with any party who should decide to take up the NCMP seats... to move the agenda forward and to play our role as constructive opposition."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

12 July: Singapore GE2020: Polling Day pains might have compounded voter frustration


Source: The Straits Times

Waiting in long queues may have swung a few voters, but the effect is hardly significant, say analysts

Snaking queues that greeted some voters at polling stations last Friday were likely to have swung some votes away from the People's Action Party (PAP), observers said.

Despite assigned time slots for voters to cast their ballots, crowds bunched up at some polling stations, especially in the morning, and some took to social media to voice their frustration regarding queues that went on for as long as three hours.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

12 July: GE2020: WP team to establish new town council in Sengkang


Source: The Straits Times

The Workers' Party (WP) team that won Sengkang GRC will establish a new town council after the party discusses how it wants to proceed with the matter, said its secretary-general Pritam Singh.

"As is the case in any election, if there is a change of town council, the current contractors will still continue to do their work. The expectation is that they will continue as if nothing has really changed," he told reporters after the results of Friday's general election were announced.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

12 July: Singapore GE2020: How Workers' Party won over Sengkang


Source: The Straits Times

Observers cite candidates who resonated with younger voters; a desire for checks and balances; and the national swing towards opposition

One of the early signs that not all may be well came midway in the campaign.

Clad in white, Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Amrin Amin went around Sengkang Central, waving and introducing themselves. Usually, residents obliged with a smile or a nod, even if hesitantly.

But there were some who gave the two People's Action Party (PAP) candidates the cold shoulder, to the point of being outright unfriendly.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: The Impact of Singapore's GE2020

Dr. Felix Tan Thiam Kim, Associate Lecturer, Singapore Institute of Management discusses the results of Singapore's GE2020, the influence of Covid-19 on the results, and the way forward for local politics.

11 July: Singapore GE2020: WP chief Pritam Singh to be named Leader of the Opposition


Source: The Straits Times

Pritam Singh will be given staff support and resources to carry out this role, says PM Lee

Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh will be formally appointed Leader of the Opposition, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

And Mr Singh, whose party now has 10 MPs in Parliament, will be given the staff support and resources to carry out this role, PM Lee added.

Speaking early this morning after the polling results, PM Lee said the election results show a clear desire for a diversity of voices in Parliament.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: GE2020: Smaller opposition parties manage to improve their vote share

SINGAPORE - While the Workers' Party created history by winning two group representation constituencies (GRC) and new entrant Progress Singapore Party (PSP) scored 40.9 per cent of valid votes in the 24 seats it fought for, many of the smaller parties also did better than expected in Friday's (July 10) general election.

A total of 10 opposition parties had contested, the most in any general election since independence.

Of the smaller parties that contested 10 or fewer seats, the National Solidarity Party (NSP) made the biggest improvement on the 2015 election, upping their percentage of valid votes in wards contested from 25.27 per cent to 33.15 per cent.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: GE2020: Election results a clear mandate for PAP but also reflects desire for more diversity of voices in Parliament, says PM


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The People’s Action Party (PAP) has received a clear mandate in the general election, but the results also show a desire for a diversity of voices in Parliament, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PM Lee said that while the ruling party’s share of the popular vote – 61.24 per cent – was not as high as he had hoped for, it still reflected a broad base of support for the PAP.

“Singaporeans understand what is at stake and why we must come together to uphold our national interests,” he said at a virtual press conference held at The Treasury building at around 4.30am on Saturday (July 11).
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: GE2020: PAP returns to power with 83 seats, but loses Sengkang and Aljunied GRCs in hard-fought Covid-19 election


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans returned the People’s Action Party (PAP) to government, handing it 83 of the 93 seats, but there was a major upset in Sengkang GRC, which fell to the Workers’ Party (WP), amid a stronger showing for the opposition.

In what was dubbed a crisis election, or the Covid-19 polls, the PAP won 61.24 per cent of the votes, an 8.7-point swing from its 69.9 per cent share in the 2015 polls. This was slightly above the 60.1 per cent it garnered in 2011, which was the party’s worst showing.

The election, billed as the most significant since Singapore’s independence given the backdrop of the pandemic, will see the opposition presence almost doubled to 10 elected MPs in the next Parliament, Singapore’s 14th, since 1965.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: From West Coast to Sengkang: The 5 closest fights of GE2020

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times looks at the five most hotly contested constituencies of the 2020 General Election, which took place on Friday (July 10):

1. WEST COAST GRC
Final result: PAP win
Vote share: PAP 51.69%, PSP 48.31%

This year's West Coast PAP team was helmed by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, 58, who has now been re-elected in six straight general elections.

2. SENGKANG GRC
Final result: WP win
Vote share: WP 52.13%, PAP 47.87%

In possibly the biggest upset of the election, the Workers' Party team consisting of lawyer He Ting Ru, 37, economics professor Jamus Lim, 44, social enterprise founder Raeesah Khan, 26, and equity research analyst Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33, won the new Sengkang GRC.

3. EAST COAST GRC
Final result: PAP win
Vote share: PAP 53.41%, WP 46.59%

The PAP's vote share in this GRC is down from 2015, when it won 60.73 per cent.

4. BUKIT PANJANG SMC
Final result: PAP win
Vote share: PAP: 53.74%, SDP 46.26%

The largest single-member constituency (SMC) of Bukit Panjang will remain in the hands of the PAP.

5. BUKIT BATOK SMC
Final result: PAP win
Vote share: PAP 54.8%, SDP 45.2%

This was not the first time the PAP's incumbent Mr Murali Pillai, 52, and Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan, 57, had locked horns.

Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: GE2020: PSP starts new chapter after coming close to a win: Tan Cheng Bock


Source: The Straits Times

He says he is proud his young opposition team has caused an impact in the general election

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock said he was heartened by his party's result even though it had failed to win any of the constituencies it contested.

"My young team didn't win a seat, but I must say we have caused an impact in this general election. We may not have won the seats but if you look at the level of support for PSP candidates... I am actually quite proud of this performance," said Dr Tan, 80, after the results were announced.

"I think it's the beginning of a new chapter for PSP and I think the movement that I've created will grow. We are not deterred by this disappointment. I think the team that I have built will go further, in the next election. In the next round, we'll come back."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: Singapore GE2020: SDP's Paul Tambyah criticises glove and PPE 'fiasco', says his party ran strong campaign


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) chairman and candidate for Bukit Panjang SMC, Professor Paul Tambyah, criticised the election during the pandemic as indicative of the "recklessness and opportunism" of the People's Action Party (PAP).

He was speaking at a press conference at the SDP's headquarters in Ang Mo Kio early Saturday morning (July 11) as results from the polls were streaming in.

"We've seen a number of events that occurred today. The fiasco of the gloves and the PPE, where polling agents had to leave, but we deal with the cards we are dealt and are grateful to our voters," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

11 July: GE2020 official results: WP wins Sengkang GRC with 52.13% of votes, clinching its second GRC


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - In the largest upset of the election, the Workers' Party has won the new Sengkang GRC, garnering 52.13 per cent of the vote against a 47.87 per cent share for the People's Action Party.

The WP took 60,136 votes, while the PAP got 55,214 votes. This would mean that the fresh-faced WP team has claimed the opposition party's second GRC, following a tough fight for the new constituency.

Anchorvale residents greeted the history-making results with cheers when the sample count earlier in the night had indicated the new GRC would likely change hands.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

10 July: Singapore GE2020: Voting hours extended to 10pm, opposition parties criticise move


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Polling stations will remain open until 10pm so that voters can cast their votes, the Elections Department (ELD) announced on Friday (July 10).

The exceptions to this are polling stations in designated stay-home notice facilities.

The polls were initially scheduled to close at 8pm. However, several stations across the island saw long queues during the day, including Palm View Primary School in Sengkang.

The ELD said on Friday that although the queue situation across most of the stations had improved, "a small number" continued to see long queues. "This extension in hours will allow enough time for all voters to cast their votes," it added.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

10 July: Singapore GE2020: Steps to keep voting safe for today's polls


Source: Lianhe Zaobao

Voters heading to the 1,100 polling stations advised to comply with safety instructions

Hand sanitisers and disposable gloves are in place at every polling station as more than 2.65 million voters head to the ballot box today to round off Singapore's remarkable Covid-19 election campaign by picking the 93 members of Singapore's 14th Parliament.

Yesterday's Cooling-off Day was one of reflection for voters, after nine days of occasionally fractious campaigning by various parties, both online and on the ground.

While candidates caught a break during the 24-hour no-campaigning period, public servants were busy putting in place the safedistanced polling booths, equipping school canteens and void decks with temperature-taking points, sanitising products and the now-familiar floor markings for spaced queues.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

9 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP candidates round up campaign in Mandarin, Malay and Tamil talk shows

PAP candidates held talk shows that were streamed on Facebook last night to round up the party's campaign for the general election, ahead of Polling Day tomorrow.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

9 July: Singapore GE2020: Race and religion a sensitive issue to be discussed with care, says PM Lee

The issue of race and religion is a sensitive one, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday as he called for caution in such discussions.

They need to be done carefully and between the younger and older generations to achieve a meeting of minds, he said at an online rally when wrapping up the People's Action Party's election campaign.

Younger people, he noted, have different perspectives on the issue, and these are valid and need to be taken into account as they will one day inherit Singapore.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

9 July: Singapore GE2020: Consider the huge challenges ahead, and vote PAP, says PM Lee


Source: People's Action Party

Rounding up his party's campaign, he urges a calm, sensible response to the looming crisis

Singapore will face a very difficult next few years dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and creating jobs.

This is why the election has been called now, so the strongest team will have the mandate to see the country through this crisis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In an online rally rounding out the People's Action Party's election campaign last night, PM Lee said jobs are on top of everyone's minds, with many having lost theirs or earning significantly less.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

9 July: Singapore GE2020: 10 burning issues

Controversies have erupted and shots have been fired over the campaign period, as political parties worked to convince voters to lend support to their goals. Linette Lai sets out the 10 issues that made the news and may weigh on voters' minds as Singapore heads to the polls tomorrow.

1. STRONG MANDATE VERSUS POTENTIAL WIPEOUT
The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is calling for a strong mandate to see Singaporeans through the "crisis of a generation" with the Covid-19 pandemic, while opposition parties have raised concerns over a potential wipeout.

Which perspective is more likely to sway voters?

2. IMPACT OF COVID-19
How will the Covid-19 pandemic influence voters' choice at the ballot box?

3. ALL EYES ON THE EAST COAST
Will Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's presence bolster the PAP's results in East Coast GRC?

4. TAN CHENG BOCK FACTOR
Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 80, a former PAP MP who is now leading the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), is contesting in West Coast GRC, which covers his former ward of Ayer Rajah.

Will his personal popularity be enough to win the constituency that garnered the PAP 78.6 per cent of the vote share in GE2015?

5. 3G AND 4G
How will voters respond to PM Lee's assurance that his party's senior leadership will stay on to help steer Singapore through the Covid-19 crisis?

6. RETIREMENT OF THE OLD GUARD
Veteran politicians, including former Cabinet ministers and WP stalwart Low Thia Khiang, will not stand for election this year. How will voters respond to new faces and party renewal?

7. NEW FACES MAKE NEWS
Two new candidates - the PAP's Ivan Lim and the WP's Raeesah Khan - have come under the spotlight owing to their past behaviour. Could this affect the performance of their parties?

8. AN SDP REVIVAL?
Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah had a high profile during the election, perhaps even more so than party chief Chee Soon Juan.

9. THE NCMP QUESTION
How will the debate over the Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme figure in voters' minds?

10. ELECTION GOES DIGITAL
Have online rallies and televised constituency political broadcasts proved an effective replacement for physical rallies?

Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: #GE2020: Minimum Wage Policy

Due to Covid-19 and the backdrop of the elections, calls for a minimum wage system in Singapore has been brought up by some, as Singaporeans re-think the value and role of low-wage workers in essential services.⁣

Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(0807_MDT_MinimumWage_FB) - MONEYFM89.3

Is the progressive wage model working better for Singapore's economy? Listen to the full podcast to find out more.

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Reform Party will carry on the fight like the late JBJ, says its chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam


Source: Reform Party Facebook

SINGAPORE - Pointing to his late father J.B. Jeyaretnam's tenacity in fighting for a seat in Parliament, Reform Party secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam vowed in an e-rally on Wednesday (July 8) that he "will not give up" in his own battle for Ang Mo Kio GRC and for Singaporeans.

The late Mr Jeyaretnam, who was more popularly known as JBJ, was the first opposition politician elected into the Singapore Parliament after independence in 1965. Noting that his father had lost seven times before winning the 1981 by-election in Anson, the younger Jeyaretnam said: "I will not give up until I have made a difference... rest in peace dad, there are many of us here carrying on the fight, trying to make it right for your beloved Singapore."

In his 11-minute speech, he also noted that the party's proposal was "superior" to the ruling People's Action Party's (PAP) and that the Government's economic package for the Covid-19 crisis was "inadequate".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: We stand 'a good chance' in West Coast GRC, says PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock said on the final day of campaigning that he is optimistic about his team's chances in West Coast GRC.

"I think we have a good chance. That's how all politicians must be, we will always fight to win, where got fight to lose?" said Dr Tan, 80, during a walkabout to flats in Clementi West Street 2. "We feel that we have a good chance, if judged by the ground reception, and the vibe that we get from the residents. So I hope we'll do well."

Dr Tan said that the past nine days of campaigning had been a good experience and offered him a different perspective of an election campaign.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: National Solidarity Party says it will be 'auditors of the PAP' in closing message to voters


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The National Solidarity Party (NSP) said it will be "auditors to the PAP" if it gets voted into Parliament.

Wrapping up the campaign in Sembawang GRC, NSP chief Spencer Ng, 40, said that any talk of a freak election was a scare tactic as the opposition's goal was to serve as a check and balance.

"In this immediate future that I can see, the opposition will not be the Government. But we will be the auditors of the PAP, and we need to be in Parliament in numbers to make this possible," said Mr Ng, who was accompanied by his running mates in Sembawang GRC, Mr Ivan Yeo Tiong Boon, 72, Mr Sebastian Teo, 73, Mr Yadzeth Hairis, 57, and Mr Sathin Ravindran, 27.
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: Chan Chun Sing says leaked audio clips taken out of context; being circulated online 'with ill-intent'


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing took to Facebook on Wednesday (July 8) to explain and set the context for leaked audio clips of a closed-door conversation that he had with party activists in January last year.

His clarification, via a Facebook post, came after The Online Citizen Asia published an article on its website on Wednesday, along with leaked audio clips of Mr Chan speaking on the impact of a crisis on the People's Action Party's results during elections.

He also said in the Facebook post that these truncated audio clips were taken out of context, and "circulated with ill-intent".
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP should campaign on issues, says PPP chief Goh Meng Seng


Source: Lianhe Zaobao

SINGAPORE - People's Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng has called on the ruling party to run a campaign based on issues, and claimed it has used "dirty tricks" in this election.

On the final day of campaigning, in what he has said will be his last election, the veteran opposition politician said he was shocked by reports of Progress Singapore Party (PSP) posters being torn down and incidents of residents purportedly being told to throw opposition fliers out.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP new face Yip Hon Weng has plans for the elderly in Yio Chu Kang if elected


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - New face Yip Hon Weng has plans to support the elderly residents in Yio Chu Kang SMC if elected, the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate told the media on Wednesday (July 8).

These plans include taking care of their mental well-being, fostering more inter-generation interaction between the youth and the elderly, and helping senior caregivers access resources and help.

This is also an extension of the work Mr Yip, 43, had done earlier, as the former group chief of the Silver Generation Office under the Agency for Integrated Care. The AIC serves seniors and their caregivers.
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: Saving half of returns on reserves important for future generations, says Vivian


Source: Screengrab from Facebook

SINGAPORE - It is a fair arrangement to spend half of the returns on Singapore's invested reserves on the needs of the current generation, and set aside the rest for the next, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a video posted on Facebook on Wednesday (July 8).

The People's Action Party's (PAP) incumbent anchor for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC was responding to a resident's question on what becomes of the 50 per cent of Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC) that cannot be used for government Budgets, and why it cannot be disbursed to Singaporeans.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Jobs, investments and community support will be key focus for next 6-12 months, says Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE - The next six to 12 months will be difficult for Singapore on the economic front, but the Government is clear about what needs to be done, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing has said.

In a press conference at People's Action Party (PAP) headquarters on Wednesday (July 8), Mr Chan and two other ministers gave an update on Singapore's economy and the Government's plans to manage the fallout from the global challenge caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming months.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Community job fairs rolled out to help workers find jobs near them, says PAP's Ng Chee Meng


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - Community job fairs are among measures rolled out by the Government to help Singaporeans tide through challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Such fairs have been held in Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Jurong and West Coast since this month to allow workers to browse for job opportunities that are as close as 3km from where they live, said labour chief Ng Chee Meng on Wednesday (July 8).
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: No physical rallies, but WP's Low Thia Khiang delivers trademark Teochew speech in new video

SINGAPORE - The former chief of the Workers' Party (WP), Mr Low Thia Khiang, will not be standing for election in Friday's polls, but voters on Wednesday (July 8) still got to hear him delivering a speech in Teochew - a trademark for the party stalwart.

"Every general election since 1991, I would speak in Teochew at Hougang rallies," he said in a video message posted on the party's social media channels a day before Cooling-off Day, when no campaigning is allowed.
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: Inconsistent manpower policies and renegotiating FTAs will erode confidence in S'pore, says Chan Chun Sing


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday (July 8) warned against reopening negotiations on free trade agreements (FTAs) and implementing inconsistent manpower policies.

To do so would further erode confidence in Singapore, and reduce the country's attractiveness to investors in a world where protectionism is growing, said the PAP's second assistant secretary-general.

At a People's Action Party press conference, Mr Chan noted that global investor and consumer confidence has gone down.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Marks by self-inking pens will not become invisible, says ELD


Source: The Straits Times

The marks made by self-inking pens on ballot papers for the election will not become invisible, said the Elections Department (ELD), debunking false claims.

ELD said yesterday that it was aware of false information being circulated in messages and online posts, which claimed that ballot papers and self-inking pens provided for the election have been treated such that marks made on the ballot papers will become invisible after several minutes.

"ELD would like to state categorically that this is not true," the department said in a statement.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: New Sengkang GRC springs some surprises

Battle hots up as PAP and WP scramble to get swing voters on their side

Sengkang resident Jean Ling, 42, is still thinking about which party to vote for when she heads to the polls on Friday.

The bank secretary and mother of two is happy with the new amenities in her Anchorvale neighbourhood, managed by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). But when she thinks about her children's future - her elder daughter is sitting the PSLE this year - some of the Workers' Party's (WP) proposals strike a chord. These include giving children the option to bypass the PSLE, a high-stakes national exam for 12-year-olds, and more support for the elderly.

"My dad is a cleaner. At almost 80, he is still working. He cannot rely on us because we have kids too," she said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: 5 questions with four political party leaders

PAP, WP, PSP and SDP chiefs speak on key issues like jobs, why voters should back them

Leaders from the four largest political parties - by number of seats contested - spoke on how they would address key issues like jobs, and why voters should support them, in a video launched by The Straits Times yesterday.

In the 5 Questions video, each party leader from the People's Action Party (PAP), Workers' Party (WP), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) gave his take on a set of five questions posed to them.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: World wants to see diversity of parties, views in Singapore, says SPP chief Steve Chia


Source: The Straits Times

The international community does not want to see one-party dominance in Singapore, but a diversity of political parties and viewpoints, Singapore People's Party (SPP) chief Steve Chia said yesterday.

Responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks at the ruling party's Fullerton rally on Monday, he told reporters before a walkabout in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh that the world is looking to see how Singapore transitions from its third generation of leaders to its fourth.

"When they see that there is the PAP, the Workers' Party, the SPP and any other party, and we are able to debate sensibly and come up with sensible solutions... This is what will impress the international community even more," said Mr Chia, who is leading an SPP team contesting in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. The other SPP candidates are party vice-chairman Williiamson Lee, Mr Osman Sulaiman and Mr Melvyn Chiu.
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: Tharman sets out plans for a more united Singapore

Social mobility remains the key, but Govt and community must take responsibility for all

Singapore can emerge from the Covid-19 crisis as a better and more inclusive society, which allows everyone to move up an escalator of rising skills and wages to better lives, said Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

To do so, the Government would have to play a key role, making deeper interventions earlier, to help level up children from less fortunate families from an earlier stage in their lives.

There would also be more help for workers to boost their productivity so that they continue to see their skills and wages move up over the years, said the Coordinating Minister for Social Policies.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

Inequality will widen if Govt gives out benefits to all
Median incomes, productivity up by a third in 10 years
Why Progressive Wage Model is better than a minimum wage
Ensuring social mobility starts from childhood
Putting workers on an escalator of skills, income

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Reform Party says sorry to Radin Mas voters for missing broadcast

The Reform Party (RP) has apologised to Radin Mas SMC voters that its candidate, Mr Kumar Appavoo, did not manage to record the constituency political broadcast yesterday.

In a statement, party chairman Andy Zhu said it was an "unfortunate event that has happened under unforeseen circumstances which resulted in us missing the recording". He did not say what the event was.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Pioneer SMC candidates look to the past as they lay out their plans during constituency broadcasts


Source: The Straits Times

3 candidates reference Singapore's history in laying out their plans

All three candidates contesting in Pioneer SMC took a trip down memory lane while laying out their plans for residents at the start of the fifth night of televised constituency political broadcasts yesterday.

With 24,672 voters, Pioneer is the only single-member constituency in this election with a three-cornered fight.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Stakes are high for Workers' Party in Aljunied GRC

Stakes are high for WP and its chief after it barely held on to GRC in last election

Former Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang should be taking it slow.

Still on medical leave, he has not fully healed after a fall at home in April. But since the start of the campaign period, the popular politician has been spotted at hawker centres and wet markets with his party's Aljunied GRC team to greet voters.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Don't rock the 'Singapore sampan', ESM Goh cautions


Source: The Straits Times

The "Singapore sampan" is out in the choppy open sea, and the waves are getting dangerously bigger.

In providing this analogy yesterday, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had two "survival tips" for Singaporeans ahead of the general election on Friday.

"One, don't rock the boat; two, pick a crew with the skills to row the sampan, and row in unison with them," he said in a Facebook post.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Police reports made against DPM Heng; AGC says no offence committed


Source: The Straits Times

The police confirmed yesterday that police reports were made against Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, over his remarks at a March 2019 forum that Singapore was not yet ready for a non-Chinese prime minister.

In a statement, the police said they consulted the Attorney-General's Chambers, which advised that no offence was committed. "Mr Heng's remarks, in the context they were made, do not evidence any intent to wound anyone's racial feelings or promote enmity between different races."
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8 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP, SDP state case to voters in Holland-Bukit Timah


Source: The Straits Times

The People's Action Party (PAP) and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) teams contesting in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC issued competing letters to residents yesterday, laying out their case to voters while also making clear the disagreements between both sides.

In a page-long letter delivered to homes in the constituency, the PAP team said it differed fundamentally with the SDP on values.

"We believe in hard work, savings, family responsibility and community support. We reject the politics of envy and division," it said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: WP will look into Raeesah Khan's posts after police probe is done


Source: The Straits Times

Ongoing investigation into her remarks on Facebook cannot be prejudiced, says Pritam

The Workers' Party (WP) will conduct a review of the Facebook posts made by Sengkang GRC candidate Raeesah Khan, but will do so after police investigations are complete, WP chief Pritam Singh said yesterday.

"There will be a time for this. My preference is of course to do it now, but because there is an ongoing police investigation, I cannot let those investigations be prejudiced by whatever comments I make or she makes," Mr Singh said when asked about calls from the People's Action Party (PAP) for the WP to make its stand clear on the candidate.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Paul Tambyah not optimistic about opposition's election chances


Source: The Straits Times

While the Singapore Democratic Party hopes the People's Action Party (PAP) will be denied a super majority on July 10, party chairman Paul Tambyah said he is not optimistic about the opposition's chances at the polls.

Appearing with Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock at a walkabout in Bukit Panjang SMC yesterday, Professor Tambyah - who is contesting the constituency - said that while no one opposition party is contesting more than one-third of the seats, they are hoping they can win enough seats together.

"Between the major parties together, if we get one-third, we can prevent a super majority in Parliament," said Prof Tambyah. "Although, to be honest, that is wishful thinking. Because right now, it looks like a wipeout. So, all we are trying to do is survive."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 July: Singapore GE2020: Unusual election provided opportunities to meet many more residents, says Teo Chee Hean


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean has contested five general elections and one by-election, but none has produced the unusual phenomenon of this year's polls: being able to meet many more residents during walkabouts and home visits.

The reason is that more people are working from home and doing their marketing and shopping closer to home, as well as not holidaying abroad, said Mr Teo, 65, on Tuesday (July 7).

Attributing it to people just coming out of two months of circuit breaker curbs, he noted: "That provided an interesting opportunity because we managed to meet many more residents in a compressed period than we usually do in a general election."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Social media’s role in GE2020

According to a survey by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Internet and media use during GE2015, it was suggested that candidates' Facebook posts and Instagram photos may have been key talking points during the recent general election, but social media did not play such a decisive role. Carol Soon, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore shares how social media and the internet will play a bigger role in this year's election.

7 July: Singapore GE2020: WP manifesto shows how seriously party takes Covid-19 crisis, says Pritam Singh


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The first chapter of the Workers' Party's (WP) manifesto highlights policy proposals to tackle Covid-19, and that shows how seriously the party is treating the crisis, said the opposition party on Tuesday (July 7).

"I think it's a very convenient thing for the Prime Minister just to brush everybody with the same paintbrush," said WP chief Pritam Singh, speaking to reporters during a walkabout in Sengkang GRC.

Mr Singh said: "(Covid-19 is in) chapter one of our manifesto. And that should tell you how significant Covid-19 is as an issue for the WP."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP's Liang Eng Hwa promises to review country's reliance on foreign labour if elected


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Mr Liang Eng Hwa, the People's Action Party candidate standing in the single seat of Bukit Panjang, has promised to focus on manpower issues and help review Singapore's reliance on foreign labour if elected.

Mr Liang, who is chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Finance, Trade and Industry and a three-term Member of Parliament, said he will seek to join the GPC for Manpower if he gets a fourth term as an MP.

His other priorities include institutionalising flexible work arrangements, improving health insurance plans for locals, and pushing for the wider use of electric vehicles.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: Tan Cheng Bock calls police reports against WP's Raeesah Khan 'gutter politics'


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock on Tuesday (July 7) described the controversy surrounding Workers' Party (WP) candidate Raeesah Khan's social media posts as "gutter politics".

Ms Raeesah, 26, is being investigated after two police reports were made against her for two posts on Facebook in which she suggested that the authorities discriminated against minorities.

News of the police reports broke on Sunday, following which Ms Raeesah, who is on the WP's Sengkang GRC team, apologised for making "insensitive" and "improper" remarks.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: Opposition leaders say they have not ignored Covid-19

Opposition leaders yesterday pushed back on suggestions from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that they had ignored the Covid-19 crisis during their campaigning - pointing out the parts of their plans that are related to the crisis while also reiterating their objections to having an election during a pandemic.

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock said it was the People's Action Party (PAP) and not the opposition that had taken its eye off the crisis. "I disagree with him (PM Lee). I think we never took our eye off Covid-19. They took their eyes off Covid-19... because they're concentrating too much on this general election."

He said he worries about how safe distancing can take place during a walkabout. "And I see it now, when I go to the ground. I worry for those people. They surge to you. And how are you going to control them?"
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: Strongest PAP slate with both young and old faces


Source: The Straits Times

The People's Action Party (PAP) is fielding a record number of new candidates this election to prepare a new generation of leaders able, in time, to take over the running of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the virtual Fullerton rally yesterday.

Never before has the ruling party sent out as many as the 27 new faces it is doing in this election - exceeding even the 26 in the class of 1984, which was when PM Lee entered politics at the age of 32.

The 1984 General Election turned out to be a watershed election that injected young blood into the PAP, he said.
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7 July: Singapore GE2020: Why a strong mandate for PAP is crucial now, says PM Lee

Country must show others it is united during crisis to continue to draw investors, he says

Investors will scrutinise the results of the election to see if Singaporeans are still one united people, strongly supporting the leaders they have chosen to overcome the coronavirus crisis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore's friends and adversaries will be watching closely as well, he added. That is why the People's Action Party (PAP) seeks not just the people's mandate, but a strong mandate to lead the country through the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking at an online lunchtime rally yesterday, PM Lee said maintaining Singapore's "high reputation" is a matter of survival for the country, so that it can attract investments from multinational corporations and be taken seriously by other countries.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: Singapore needs capable govt with full support of people, says PM Lee


Source: The Straits Times

Country at critical stage in its history amid virus crisis, in high-stakes election, he says

Singapore is at a critical juncture in its history as it tackles the challenges from Covid-19 and a weakened global economy, and needs a capable government with the full support of a united people to get through the present crisis, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

"Hardly ever in our history have the stakes been higher than now. We are in the middle of a crisis, but as tough as the past months have been, our biggest challenges lie ahead of us.

"This is what this election is about - whom do you trust to get you through the very difficult times ahead?"
Read the full article on The Straits Times

7 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP offers voters dogged loyalty and will build on relationship, says PM Lee

SINGAPORE - When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong participated in his first general election in 1984, there was no Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Connecting with voters was "very personal, face-to-face", said the People's Action Party secretary-general during the constituency's Facebook live rally on Monday (July 6).

Over more than three decades, he has grown grey with his Teck Ghee ward and its volunteers, and together they have built a community and home, added the 68-year-old.

"It's a place where people have deep roots; they're been staying here a long time," said Mr Lee.
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6 July: Singapore GE2020: Reform Party given enough notice for constituency political broadcasts, says IMDA


Source: Screengrab from Youtube

SINGAPORE - All political parties were given sufficient notice for the constituency political broadcasts and no request was made to record the broadcast at a separate location, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Monday (July 6).

The authority was responding to the Reform Party (RP), which said the five candidates from its Ang Mo Kio GRC team were not given enough notice to record its constituency political broadcast (CPB), which was screened last Friday.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Peoples Voice unveils manifesto with focus on jobs, immigration policies and CPF scheme


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Peoples Voice party has outlined five key priorities in its manifesto, released Monday (July 6), four days from polling day on Friday.

It wants to prioritise Singaporeans in employment policies, review the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme, reform immigration policies, tackle the high cost of living, and improve accountability and transparency in the Government.

Party chief Lim Tean introduced the manifesto in a video posted to the party's Facebook page, adding that the centrepiece is the party's commitment to restore jobs to Singaporeans.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: PSP's Tan Cheng Bock says bread-and-butter issues still matter during Covid-19 crisis


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Bread-and-butter issues like CPF, jobs and housing matters continue to be important at the election even during the Covid-19 crisis, said Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock (PSP).

He was responding to a speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who had said that opposition parties had campaigned as if the crisis did not exist and were recycling old policy ideas in their manifestos.

Speaking to The Straits Times at his home on Monday (July 6), Dr Tan also said that bread-and-butter issues cannot be pushed aside just because the Covid-19 crisis is happening.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Singapore did not collapse when PAP lost ministers and a GRC in 2011, say WP candidates

SINGAPORE - Singapore did not collapse when it lost two full ministers and a senior minister of state in 2011, said Workers' Party (WP) candidate for Marine Parade GRC Yee Jenn Jong in a Facebook post on Monday (July 6).

He was referring to three of the PAP candidates in Aljunied GRC the year it fell to the WP, namely, then Foreign Minister George Yeo, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Hwee Hua and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

Mr Yee added that many countries also have different parties represented in Parliament, citing New Zealand as an example of a minority government that has handled the Covid-19 crisis "far better" than Singapore has.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: 100 low-income households in MacPherson to get lower electricity bills


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Licensed energy retailer Sunseap Energy will cover half the electricity bill of 100 low-income households in MacPherson SMC for a year.

Sunseap Energy, a subsidiary of Sunseap Group, has solar assets installed islandwide to provide households with clean energy.

The scheme, the brainchild of Sunseap Group and incumbent MP Tin Pei Ling of the People's Action Party, will be introduced later this year.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: PSP's Tan Cheng Bock visits SDA before walkabout, calls SDA president a friend


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock stressed his friendship with Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) president Desmond Lim Bak Chuan during a visit to Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC on Monday (July 6), before Mr Lim's party started its walkabout in Elias Road.

Dr Tan told reporters that he was visiting Mr Lim as part of his visits to different political parties to show his support for them.

"I never forget a friend (and Mr Lim) has helped many people," said Dr Tan, referring to the charity work that Mr Lim's SDA has done for residents in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, including the distribution of free lunches.
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6 July: Singapore GE2020: Help given to persons with disabilities to enable them to vote independently, says ELD

SINGAPORE - Assistance will be given to people with disabilities to enable them to vote independently in the upcoming general election on Friday (July 10).

For example, a portable booth that can be placed on their laps is available for wheelchair users for them to mark their ballot papers. The portable lap booth is covered on all sides, except the opening for a user to mark his vote, to ensure voting secrecy, an Elections Department (ELD) spokesman told The Straits Times.

Stencils will be given to voters who are visually impaired, so they can mark the ballot paper themselves without assistance.
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6 July: GE2020: PAP seeks 'not just your mandate, but your strong mandate' to lead Singapore through crisis, says PM Lee at online Fullerton rally

SINGAPORE - Singapore is at a critical moment as it tackles the challenges from Covid-19 and a weakened global economy, and needs a capable government with the full support of a united people to get through the present crisis, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday (July 6).

Speaking at an online lunchtime rally evocative of those the PAP has held near Fullerton Square at every election campaign, Mr Lee's message to Singaporeans was that they should not undermine a system that has served them well.

The world is watching Friday's election closely, he noted.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

PM Lee Hsien Loong says he will see country through the crisis
Opposition parties talk as though Covid-19 doesn't exist, says PM Lee
Don't vote for opposition if what you really want is a PAP government, says PM Lee

6 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP's Marymount candidate and S'pore's first woman general Gan Siow Huang goes from protecting country to serving its citizens


Source: The Straits Times

People's Action Party newcomer Gan Siow Huang is up against third-time candidate Ang Yong Guan of the Progress Singapore Party. Both served in the SAF and now take the battle to the newly created single-member constituency of Marymount

Flanked by party activists, Ms Gan Siow Huang strode briskly from table to table at a coffee shop in Bishan Street 22.

At first glance, Singapore's first woman general cut an imposing figure. But the 45-year-old paused often, bending down and chatting warmly with the patrons, even asking some for wefies.

It was two days after Nomination Day, and various memes had popped up after Ms Gan's speech that day - delivered in a commanding tone as she stood ramrod straight. Netizens had a field day with her "war-like" manner.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Singaporeans need to hold Govt accountable, says Red Dot United


Source: The Straits Times

Red Dot United (RDU) says its goal is not simply to get into Parliament, but to encourage discourse to drive change and hold the Government accountable, chairman Michelle Lee said at RDU's first e-rally last night.

The rally, broadcast on the party's Facebook page, also saw speeches by its Jurong GRC candidates - Mr Nicholas Tang, Mr Alec Tok, Ms Liyana Dhamirah and secretary-general Ravi Philemon. The new party is contesting only Jurong.

"Our goal is really to reach out to touch the hearts and minds of Singaporeans because if you, the people, demand change and hold the Government accountable to the standards to which a government should be held, then our job will be done," said Ms Lee, 43.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: PSP's Tan Cheng Bock proposes Covid-19 TV debate with ministers


Source: The Straits Times

Move in response to remarks opposition has not set out plans to tackle virus crisis

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock yesterday proposed a televised debate on the Covid-19 response - with him and Singapore Democratic Party chairman Paul Tambyah facing off against Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Speaking to the media during a walkabout in Nee Soon GRC with the PSP team, Dr Tan said: "Paul and I, we are prepared to go on TV and debate on this. So, if he is prepared, Chan Chun Sing can bring the Health Minister. And I will go along with Paul. Then we go on national TV, and we will debate this thing out."

Dr Tan, who is contesting in West Coast GRC, was responding to remarks by Mr Chan that the opposition had not set out its plans on how it would deal with the virus crisis in the various parties' manifestos and discussions.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: More than 100 volunteers to help West Coast job seekers

They will be stationed at weekly jobs fair to help match people to suitable opportunities in the area

As an air traffic control officer with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Mr Hermizan Jumari has witnessed first-hand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.

That spurred him to sign up as a volunteer career navigator under a community jobs initiative at Pioneer SMC and West Coast GRC, where he lives.

The 45-year-old said he realised many are severely affected by the pandemic and face reduced income or uncertainty in employment.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Sengkang will be well managed under PAP, says Teo Chee Hean


Source: The Straits Times

Sengkang's town council will be well managed if the People's Action Party (PAP) team is elected in the upcoming election, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

"Many issues have been discussed during this election. I would like to boil it down to three things. First, jobs during this crisis. Second, in our daily lives, who is going to look after our town council. And third, who can speak up for me?" said Mr Teo, adding that the PAP ticks all three boxes.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: NCMPs can be easily ignored, says Leon Perera


Source: The Straits Times

Workers' Party (WP) candidate Leon Perera said the voices of Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) can be ignored in Parliament, but those of fully elected opposition MPs are more likely to be heard.

He added in a Facebook post yesterday that the People's Action Party (PAP) risks losing votes if the Government fails to address concerns raised by fully elected opposition MPs on behalf of their constituents. But this is not the case if the issue is raised by an NCMP who has no constituents.

Mr Perera, a WP candidate for Aljunied GRC in the general election and an NCMP in the previous term of Parliament, was addressing the argument that voters can support the PAP and still have an opposition in the form of NCMPs.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP held accountable by voters, will not have blank cheque to do as it wishes, says Ong Ye Kung


Source: The Straits Times

The People's Action Party (PAP) will not have a "blank cheque" to do as it wishes, as voters will make the ruling party pay at the next election if it does not perform well, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.

Mr Ong, who helms the PAP team contesting in Sembawang GRC, said Singaporean voters are rational and educated, and will not issue a blank cheque to any party on a whim.

"They have high expectations - if you are given a chance to enter Parliament and if you don't perform well, you will have to pay the price at the next election," he told reporters during a walkabout in Kampung Admiralty yesterday.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: WP candidate Raeesah Khan apologises for 'insensitive' remarks in posts

Workers' Party (WP) candidate Raeesah Khan apologised yesterday for making "insensitive" and "improper" remarks in two Facebook posts, in which she suggested the Singapore police discriminate against minorities.

At a press conference called last night after it emerged that two police reports have been made against her, Ms Raeesah, 26, said she did not mean to cause social division with her remarks, but had wanted to raise awareness about the concerns of minorities.

In the posts, which were made in February 2018 and May this year, she suggested that police officers discriminated against citizens, and that rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law. She also said minorities and mosque leaders were given different treatment compared with church leaders.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Opposition slams PAP leaders' handling of Covid-19 pandemic

More opposition candidates have criticised the Government's Covid-19 response so far, saying its handling of the pandemic has left much to be desired.

They pointed to issues such as the changes in policy on wearing masks and school closures, and the outbreak in foreign worker dormitories.

The charges so far have been led largely by Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah, an infectious diseases expert.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: WP using fear of opposition wipe-out to win seats, says Heng Swee Keat


Source: The Straits Times

He warns this could weaken Govt, also asks WP to clarify if it will take up NCMP positions

At a time when Singapore needs its strongest possible leadership, the Workers' Party (WP) is using the prospect of an opposition wipe-out to sway voters and win more seats in Parliament, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

This could weaken the Government that needs a strong mandate to face the Covid-19 crisis, he said.

In a video message, Mr Heng called on voters to think carefully about WP chief Pritam Singh's statement that the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) would still have a "strong mandate" even if the opposition won one-third of the seats in Parliament at the general election.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Tamil-speaking minister sent to broadcast as sign of respect, says Shanmugam


Source: The Straits Times

The People's Action Party (PAP) sent a Tamil-speaking minister to the party political broadcasts as a sign of respect to Tamils in Singapore, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.

The party takes all four official languages seriously, he added, but having a Tamil speaker at the broadcast is the PAP's way of saying to the Tamil population in Singapore that it is valued.

He said: "That's not just because of reaching out to the ground in Tamil. That is important but it's also a show of respect to the Tamil population that we value you. We respect you. And we will make sure that we show that in these ways... that they are very important, very significant."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Bukit Panjang to be run separately if votes for two constituencies are split


Source: The Straits Times

The People's Action Party (PAP) candidates running in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Bukit Panjang SMC will continue to take a team approach to town management if elected, with plans such as lift upgrading and improved connectivity in store.

They noted, however, that Bukit Panjang residents will be served by separate town councils managed by different political parties if the PAP does not retain both constituencies in the general election.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa, who is battling Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah for the Bukit Panjang seat, is tipped to be the next chairman of the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council if elected.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Independent candidate in Pioneer wants to be a neutral third voice


Source: The Straits Times

The sole independent candidate in the general election wants to be a third option for Singaporeans, besides the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) and the opposition parties. Mr Cheang Peng Wah, who is contesting in Pioneer SMC, said he was driven to enter politics by his belief that a neutral third party is needed to keep the Government accountable to the people.

"Our governance standard has dropped since Mr Lee Kuan Yew's time. Our ministers are not up to the mark yet, so a strong voice is needed in Parliament to help them become stronger," said the former Republic of Singapore Air Force engineer in an interview with The Straits Times last Friday.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Election not about any one person, says Josephine Teo


Source: The Straits Times

Minister responds to PV chief saying that voters should treat polls as referendum on her

he election is not about any individual, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

"In this particular year, it is about our lives, our jobs, our future," she said during a walkabout at Whampoa Market yesterday with her team of People's Action Party (PAP) candidates standing in Jalan Besar GRC.

"In fact, quite a lot of residents that I have met have encouraged me and also said that it is a very difficult situation. Covid-19 is absolutely a curveball. No one expected it," she added.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Paul Tambyah's remarks on ministerial task force are false, says Lawrence Wong


Source: The Straits Times

Ministers rely on experts' advice, scientific evidence in making decisions, he says

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday rebutted "baseless and false" remarks by Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah that the multi-ministry Covid-19 task force did not rely on the advice of medical experts in its work.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the task force with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, said that it has always relied on scientific evidence and the advice of medical experts in coming up with decisions.

"They are an integral part of the team, we involve them in all our deliberations, and every time Minister Gan Kim Yong and I hold the press conferences, we have the director of medical services (Associate Professor Kenneth Mak) with us," he said, adding that this has been the case since the outbreak started.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: WP highlights gender wage gap at e-rally

The Workers' Party (WP) wants more done to address the gender wage gap and to help older women who find it difficult to retire because much of their labour went unpaid, its candidates said in the party's fifth e-rally last night.

Ms Tan Chen Chen, the WP's candidate for Punggol West SMC, said that women who leave the workforce to care for their children often lose out.

"In that window of about 10 years or so, she would lose prime parts of her career and there's little way of making up for that lost time," said Ms Tan, 38, in Mandarin.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

6 July: Singapore GE2020: Better life for S'poreans if more opposition MPs elected, says SDP chief Chee Soon Juan


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan said life can get better for Singaporeans if they vote in more opposition MPs into Parliament.

Dr Chee, 57, at a 15-minute online rally on Sunday (July 5), spoke about how the Government was more responsive to people's needs after its vote share dropped in the 2011 polls.

On the other hand, prices rose after the PAP scored a strong win in the 2015 polls, he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Warren Fernandez on the changing nature of media coverage in the Singapore Election 2020

Glenn van Zutphen in conversation with Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times & President, World Editors Forum, World Association of Newspapers & Publishers to discuss the change in political landscape in Singapore as a result of digital campaigning and social media, and how traditional media can continue to remain relevant.

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Police investigating WP's Sengkang candidate Raeesah Khan over alleged online comments on race and religion


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Two police reports were made against Workers' Party's (WP) Sengkang GRC candidate Raeesah Khan over the weekend, in relation to comments she allegedly made on discrimination by Singapore's law enforcement authorities.

Police said in a statement on Sunday (July 5) that Ms Khan, 26, had allegedly commented that Singapore law enforcement authorities discriminated against citizens, and that compared with other groups, rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law.

In the context of a news article on the City Harvest Church ruling, she was also alleged to have commented that Singapore jailed minorities mercilessly, harassed mosque leaders but let corrupt church leaders free.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP, PSP West Coast teams exchange fire over manifesto, handling of Covid-19


Source: The Straits Times

Contest for West Coast GRC heats up as parties go to the ground to win over voters

What was expected to be a clash of personalities in West Coast GRC turned into a battle of policies yesterday - with the People's Action Party (PAP) criticising its opponent's manifesto for lacking detail and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) accusing the ruling party of taking its eye off the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was the first major exchange between the two teams led by politicians with decades of ties to the constituency: on the PAP side, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, 58, who has been a West Coast GRC MP since 1997, and on the PSP side, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 80, who was Ayer Rajah MP from 1980 to 2006. Ayer Rajah SMC was absorbed into West Coast GRC in 2006.

Mr Iswaran yesterday took aim at the PSP's manifesto, saying it contained broad statements but few details. "The term 'trade-off' has been used," he said of the 13-page PSP manifesto which has sections on the economy, politics and social development.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Insight looks at six issues that have surfaced as the campaign for GE2020 enters Day 6 today

Pandemic: Handling the virus outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged Singapore, and the world, into its worst crisis in a generation, and the country's response has set the backdrop for the ongoing general election campaign.

Safeguarding Singaporeans' jobs in a crisis

With a global recession looming, political parties made their case for how they would keep Singaporeans in jobs and tackle unemployment.

10 million population claim by SDP

A heated exchange on population numbers resurfaced tensions over immigration, leading the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) to issue a strong statement refuting opposition claims that it plans to drastically increase the number of foreigners, and questioning the character and integrity of opposition party chiefs.

GST: To raise, suspend or exempt?

The familiar lightning rod issue of the goods and services tax (GST) has returned this election, with opposition parties in broad agreement in opposing a planned hike from 7 per cent to 9 per cent between 2022 and 2025.

Foreigners: Protecting S'pore workers' interests

Amid a wave of retrenchments due to the Covid-19 pandemic, political parties crossed swords on the Government's foreign worker policy and free trade agreements such as the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca).

Ensuring diversity of views in Parliament

It has been described as a "poisoned chalice", a "ploy" to keep people from voting for the opposition, and a "back door" for the opposition to get into Parliament.

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Voters miss physical rallies but laud online campaigning


Source: The Straits Times

strong>They cite ease of access to information but bemoan loss of atmosphere

The sight of thousands of cheering supporters at an election rally in Serangoon Stadium in 2015 remains etched in Mr Benjamin Lim's mind. Since then, the 30-year-old has looked forward to attending another rally at the next election.

But this was not to be, as mass rallies have been disallowed due to safe distancing measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Lim, who lives in Aljunied GRC, now tunes in to online rallies and videos on Facebook from both the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Workers' Party (WP) daily.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: PSP will decide on NCMP seat when time comes, says Tan Cheng Bock

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will decide on whether it will take up the offer of a Non-Constituency MP seat when the time comes, said party chief Tan Cheng Bock.

He said the NCMP scheme is a good platform for PSP members who want to have a feel of and understand what Parliament proceedings are like, but added that they must be aware that they are only there to observe.

Speaking to reporters after a walkabout in Ayer Rajah Food Centre with the other members of his West Coast GRC team yesterday, Dr Tan said: "Currently, at the moment, I don't accept the NCMP." As for the members of his party, he said: "Whether they take it or not, when the time comes, we will tell you."

Dr Tan said that on this issue, he shares the same position as the Workers' Party (WP).
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: NCMP scheme a 'stabiliser' for electoral system, says Goh Chok Tong


Source: The Straits Times

The Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme acts as a "stabiliser" for Singapore's electoral system and prevents an unintended election outcome, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he noted some people's comments that the intent of the scheme is to shut out the opposition and entrench the ruling party in power.

The scheme has emerged as a key issue in this election, with opposition parties criticising it as a ploy to entice voters to vote for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Opposition not likely to form govt after polls, says WP


Source: The Straits Times

Party chief Pritam Singh dismisses prospect of coalition government as 'fear-mongering'

Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh has dismissed talk of the three biggest opposition parties coming together and forming a government to replace the People's Action Party (PAP).

He said such a prospect - put forward by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing at a Mandarin dialogue last Thursday - is not realistic.

"It took 16 years after our Independence for the opposition to win even one elected seat, and 23 years after 1988, when the GRC system was introduced, for the opposition to win one GRC," pointed out Mr Singh, referring to WP's Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam winning the Anson seat in the 1981 by-election and his team's victory in Aljunied GRC in 2011.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP says population figures were disclosed in Parliament


Source: The Straits Times

The 10 million population spat : SDP's Chee, Tambyah claim victory and say they wish to focus on other issues in GE, while Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam says it has been made plain in Parliament that Singapore's population is expected to be well below 6.9 million in 2030

It has already been made plain in Parliament that Singapore's population is expected to be well below 6.9 million in 2030, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday.

He was responding to a question about Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) leader Chee Soon Juan's claim that the People's Action Party had "toyed with the idea" of raising the population to 10 million.

"I am perplexed," the minister said during a walkabout in Yishun Link.

"Obviously, parliamentary statements are not looked at."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: SDP says it'll tap unused part of S'pore's net investment returns for social programmes


Source: The Straits Times

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) will not raid the reserves to pay for its social programmes, said party chairman Paul Tambyah during an online rally yesterday.

Instead, Professor Tambyah proposed tapping the unused portion of Singapore's net investment returns (NIR) to pay for the SDP's social programmes.

Quoting his fellow candidate and the party's "economics guru" Tan Jee Say, Prof Tambyah said: "The investment returns from our reserves will yield more than $37 billion in the financial year 2020."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Less tech-savvy seniors cannot be left out, says WP's Dylan Ng


Source: The Straits Times

There is a need to reach out to less tech-savvy elderly residents amid the e-rallies and other election events taking place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Workers' Party (WP) East Coast GRC candidate Dylan Ng.

He was speaking to The Sunday Times during a walkabout at the market and hawker centre at 58 New Upper Changi Road.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Why settle for PAP-lite? Real thing is much better, says PM Lee Hsien Loong


Source: Sengkang GRC Facebook

PM Lee calls on voters to back PAP team over WP rivals in new Sengkang GRC

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday called on Sengkang voters to support the People's Action Party (PAP) team over the rival Workers' Party (WP) team, criticising the opposition party's manifesto and calling it "PAP-lite".

"As Vivian said in the TV debate a few days ago, this is PAP-lite. But I tell you - why do you want to settle for PAP-lite? The real thing is much better," he said, referring to remarks by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on the WP.

PM Lee was speaking in a webinar on the PAP's plans for Sengkang. He made a guest appearance in a show of support for labour chief Ng Chee Meng and his team.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Healthcare system helped to keep Covid-19 fatality rate low, says Gan Kim Yong


Source: The Straits Times

ingapore's robust healthcare system and competent healthcare workers have helped to keep the country's Covid-19 fatality rate among the lowest in the world, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in an e-rally broadcast last night.

The rate now stands at less than 0.1 per cent, with 26 deaths out of 44,664 cases as of yesterday.

Mr Gan, leader of the People's Action Party (PAP) team that is contesting Chua Chu Kang GRC, also said that the Government has made healthcare more affordable for Singaporeans over the years through a variety of schemes.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Number of Indian MPs in Parliament reflects population make-up, says Shanmugam


Source: The Straits Times

Though the first goal of the People's Action Party (PAP) is meritocracy, representing each race in Parliament according to the make-up of the country is also important, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday.

Speaking in Tamil on the sidelines of a walkabout in Nee Soon GRC, where he will helm the PAP team at the July 10 polls, Mr Shanmugam said although some of the candidates the party had considered were Indian, others were eventually deemed more appropriate for the final slate.

He said: "The first goal of the PAP is meritocracy. Race, colour or religion aside, it's meritocracy. But at the same time, Parliament has to proportionally represent the people. Chinese, Indians and Malays are represented, but if the percentage changes too much, people will look at that."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Opposition aims to checkmate, not check Govt, says Chun Sing


Source: The Straits Times

Voters should decide if they wish to have opposition block effective government

Voters have to decide if they believe the opposition is ready to serve as a check, or if it is trying to "checkmate" the Government to keep it from providing effective, decisive governance to get Singapore through the Covid-19 crisis, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

"I believe Singaporeans are fair-minded. And I think that will determine the outcome," he told reporters yesterday after a morning walkabout.

Another crucial decision facing voters is which MPs can best take care of them, their families and their livelihoods in the midst of the ongoing crisis, Mr Chan added.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: SMEs, workers could lose out if FTAs were reviewed: Iswaran


Source: The Straits Times

Singapore's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their workers could lose out if free trade agreements (FTAs) are reviewed as the opposition suggests, said Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran yesterday.

Urging the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) to be frank about the trade-offs in its proposals, he said every FTA has a carefully balanced set of pros and cons, and other countries involved would look out for their interest if any reviews are made.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

5 July: Singapore GE2020: Parties shift focus to issue of tackling impact of Covid-19

PAP calls on opposition to share details on how they plan to deal with pandemic fallout

As Singapore crossed the halfway mark of an acrimonious election campaign yesterday, party leaders on both sides of the political divide said it was time to shift the focus of the campaign to issues that were critical to the nation's future.

This meant dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on workers and the economy, according to the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). Others, such as the Workers' Party (WP), pointed to the need for a constructive opposition that would help the next government tackle the challenges arising from the crisis.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing shared the PAP's assessment of the most pressing challenge facing the nation.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: What are Singaporeans saying about the 2020 Elections?

Glenn van Zutphen and award-winning author Neil Humphreys are joined by David Black, founder of  Blackbox Research as they discuss how different the Election campaign in Singapore has been different this time around and what Singaporeans have been saying about this year’s election so far.

4 July: What makes the First generation leaders of Singapore different from today

Glenn van Zutphen and award-winning author Neil Humphreys speak to Inderjit Singh, Former PAP MP, to talk about a crucial flaw in the approach of the fourth generation (4G) leadership and the importance of leaders listening to sentiments on the ground when formulating and enacting policies for the country.

4 July: Singapore GE2020: Tan Cheng Bock defends PSP manifesto, says it is up to Singaporeans to judge it


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - It will be up Singaporeans to judge the Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) manifesto, party chief Tan Cheng Bock said yesterday, responding to criticisms from the PAP that it was lacking in detail.

"A manifesto is something you have to go through it and read, and it is individual. There may be certain parts that may not be very agreeable with certain people but that is giving you a very broad picture," he told reporters on Saturday (July 4), after doing house visits in Pioneer SMC.

"A manifesto is up to your interpretation; we feel like our manifesto was crafted in the interest of Singaporeans, so it's up to their interpretation. If they think we have done a lousy manifesto, it's not up to him to say. It's for the people to decide."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: Challenges of a digital election

SINGAPORE - The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Singapore to accelerate its adoption of digitalisation.

With home schooling, teachers have taken lessons online. In line with safe distancing measures, hawkers too have digitalised their ordering processes.

Even before the Writ of Election was issued on June 23, there was an expectation that the 2020 general election would take staples of campaigning into the virtual space.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: WP chief Pritam Singh says its goal is not to needle the PAP, acknowledges hard task of creating jobs


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh said the party will play a constructive role in Parliament and not needle the People's Action Party (PAP), as he acknowledged the difficult task ahead for the Government in creating jobs.

He said on Saturday (July 4) that the issue of jobs is even more sensitive now for many Singaporeans who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Rather than challenge the PAP on that, because they have got a very difficult job in that regard - and they are going to form the Government -I think our role as the opposition is to make sure that when we represent the people in Parliament, we are bringing their voices into Parliament on that front,” he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: Peoples Voice chief takes aim at minister over outbreak in dorms


Source: The Straits Times

Peoples Voice party chief Lim Tean said yesterday that voters in Jalan Besar GRC should treat the election as a referendum on Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

During a walkabout at Golden Mile Food Centre yesterday with his fellow candidates for the group representation constituency, Mr Lim accused Mrs Teo of being responsible for the Covid-19 outbreak in the foreign worker dormitories and described her as "one of the greatest failures in the 4G leadership".

He added that there is no basis to "absolve her of the failure" of the Covid-19 outbreak in dormitories, noting that she has had "a lot of time" to prepare for it since the first foreign worker was infected in February.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP will still have strong mandate even if it loses a third of seats, says WP chief Pritam Singh

Losing its super majority will not affect its ability to govern or get things done, he says

The People's Action Party (PAP) would still have a strong mandate even if it were to lose its super majority in Parliament, said Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh.

Speaking to reporters during a walkabout in Punggol West yesterday, Mr Singh pressed on with what has emerged as one of the key themes of his party's campaign: that a strong opposition presence was important, and voters should not worry about it affecting the PAP government's ability to get things done.

"If you have one-third of the seats in opposition hands, the Government has an incredibly strong mandate. You know it can carry out its agenda, it can pass Bills, you only need 50 (per cent) plus one to pass your Bill, so they will be able to do what they wish to do and what they want to do. Except of course when it comes to constitutional changes, that requires a two-thirds majority, and that is why one-third of the seats in opposition hands is important," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP 'disappointed but not surprised' at Chee's response

Party says SDP chief 'will never change', after he stands by claim over population target

The People's Action Party (PAP) said it was "disappointed but not surprised" at the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and its leader Chee Soon Juan, after the opposition party stood by its claim to have pressured the ruling party into scrapping a plan to raise the population to 10 million.

"We are disappointed that Dr Chee and the SDP have dug their heels in, repeated their falsehoods and refused to apologise to Singaporeans for misleading them," the ruling party said. "Disappointed but not surprised, for we knew Dr Chee has not changed, cannot change and will never change."

The strongly worded statement comes after two days of exchanges between leaders of both parties on the issue that emerged during a televised debate on Wednesday night.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

4 July: Singapore GE2020: Contest heats up in East Coast GRC

PAP's fielding of DPM Heng in East Coast has upped the stakes and made this a key battle

Four days into the hustings, East Coast GRC is feeling the heat.

The People's Action Party (PAP) and Workers' Party (WP) are clashing in East Coast for the fourth time, and - as in past polls - the contest is shaping up to be one to watch.

Shortly after the slates were finalised on Nomination Day on Tuesday, banners and posters began going up around the constituency of 121,772 voters, which stretches from Bedok to Changi Village and includes the island of Pulau Ubin.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Key issues to be tackled in the upcoming General Election

This year's general election served up a few surprises on Nomination Day, with changes made to some parties' line-ups just before papers were submitted at nomination centres on Tuesday. Many developments and debates followed. Rachel Kelly spoke to Dr Gillian Koh, Deputy Director at the Institute of Policy Studies for a recap of the top moves from the week.

3 July: Singapore GE2020: Climate change, social inequality, and BTO flat prices tackled in WP's third e-rally

SINGAPORE -Addressing climate change would not only make the future more liveable for today's young voters, it would also provide opportunities for job creation and economic growth, said the Workers' Party (WP) in its third e-rally on Friday (July 3).

The 35 minute-long talk show, broadcast on Facebook at 8pm, tackled other issues of concern for young voters, including social inequality, and the affordability of Build-To-Order (BTO) Housing Board flats.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: GE2020: SDP chair Paul Tambyah stands by party's stance on 10 million population figure

SINGAPORE - Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah stood by his party's decision to press the People's Action Party (PAP) on the question of a 10 million population target, saying the ruling party has now been forced to clarify and assure Singaporeans that there are no such plans.

He said the PAP could have clarified matters earlier but did not do so, adding: "They have kept quiet all through. They have fed this ambiguity. Now finally, for the first time, they have said no."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: WP chief Pritam Singh says there is room for fair comment on population numbers

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh on Friday (July 3) questioned if Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan's comment on population numbers should be labelled a falsehood.

He added that there should be room for fair comment on the population target that Singapore is aiming for, since ministers have alluded in the past to the possibility of a larger population size.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: Seven parties zoom in on bread-and-butter issues in first party political broadcast


Source: Screengrab from meWATCH

Jobs, housing, immigration, GST and CPF take centre stage in first party political broadcast

With a worst-ever recession looming for Singapore owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, bread-and-butter issues such as jobs, housing, immigration, the goods and services tax (GST), and the Central Provident Fund (CPF) were the focus of the seven parties in the first party political broadcast for the July 10 General Election yesterday.

In his 13-minute speech, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, 59, called for voters to give the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) a clear mandate "to lead Singapore through the storms ahead".

He said: "Our urgent priority over the next few years is to protect lives and save jobs. Through four Budgets, we have injected almost $100 billion into this effort."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: SDA calls for lower GST, stricter hiring of foreigners


Source: The Straits Times

The Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) yesterday launched a website that sets out its manifesto for the July 10 General Election.

The party's key priorities are: Lower the goods and services tax (GST) to 3 per cent for essential items, tackle social inequality, tweak the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme and stiffen the qualifying criteria for hiring foreign professionals.

These ideas in its eight-page manifesto, titled Heart For The People, were distilled from years of grassroots and charity work, SDA chairman Desmond Lim Bak Chuan, 53, told The Straits Times.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: Delayed BTO projects to be given priority

Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that have been delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak will get priority for completion once construction resumes, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said yesterday.

The Housing Board said in late May that some projects could be delayed by up to six months, although it plans to launch about 7,800 BTO flats next month.

These flats will be in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Tengah and Woodlands.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: WP says sorry for not sending representative to live debate in Mandarin


Source: The Straits Times

Workers' Party (WP) leaders yesterday apologised for not sending a representative to a televised live debate in Mandarin on Wednesday.

WP leader Pritam Singh said that while the party has members who are comfortable making speeches and communicating to residents in Mandarin, the "quality of the proficiency required to participate in a live debate is of a higher order".

Speaking to reporters before starting a walkabout in Aljunied GRC, he asked for the forbearance of the party's Mandarin-speaking supporters, and added: "I'm very grateful for the support of our Mandarin-only-speaking supporters."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: Workers' Party is not PAP-lite, says Pritam Singh

He says claim made by Vivian on similarities between both parties' policies was an electoral ploy

Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh yesterday pushed back against suggestions that his party is just a "lite" version of the People's Action Party (PAP).

He said the claim made by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during a televised debate was an electoral ploy.

Dr Balakrishnan had said during the debate that the WP manifesto outlined positions so similar to the PAP's that the ruling party could have written it.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: WP tackles jobs and productivity issues in second online rally


WP's second edition of The Hammer Show featuring (from left): Jamus Lim, Yee Jenn Jong, Leon Perera, He Ting Ru and Gerald Giam, on July 2, 2020.
Source: Workers' Party Facebook

Singapore has benefited from globalisation and free trade, but there is also now more insecurity at the individual level, said Workers' Party (WP) chair Sylvia Lim yesterday.

"There is no iron rice bowl today. For instance, we have over 210,000 gig economy freelance workers now," said Ms Lim in pre-recorded remarks for the WP's second Hammer Show.

"The Workers' Party supports economic growth that is broad-based and inclusive. Our candidates have ideas and relevant experience to add to this discussion."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: That 10 million figure - When facts get in the way

Falsehoods repeated often enough can be perceived as the truth, and there is a risk this is happening in the general election.

The latest example is the slew of statements on social media platforms and online forums, echoed by several political parties, saying that the Government plans to increase the population to 10 million by bringing in more foreigners.

Some online commentators point to a Straits Times report of a dialogue Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had with around 700 students at Nanyang Technological University last year.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

3 July: Singapore GE2020: PAP calls out SDP's Chee Soon Juan for misleading Singaporeans over 10m population figure


Source: The Straits Times

It says falsehood over a key plank of party's campaign calls its integrity into question

The People's Action Party (PAP) yesterday called out opposition politician Chee Soon Juan for attempting to mislead Singaporeans by claiming that the Government planned to increase the country's population to 10 million, and further twisting facts when his falsehood was caught out.

Pointing out that this was a key election plank of Dr Chee's Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), the PAP said in a statement last night that the falsehood "calls into question the integrity of the whole party".

Dr Chee had claimed in a live debate on Wednesday that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had "toyed with the idea" of raising the Republic's population to 10 million.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: SDP claims it pressured PAP to assure Singaporeans about population target


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said it pressured the PAP into declaring that it does not have a 10 million population target, claiming victory even amid accusations that it had mischaracterised the Government's position.

The SDP, in a statement on Thursday (July 2), said: "Within Day 1 of our campaign, we have already achieved victory on our call for the 'no' to a 10 million population."

This comes after an exchange between SDP chief Chee Soon Juan and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during a televised debate on Wednesday night, in which Dr Balakrishan had called the SDP's claim a "strawman" and "falsehood".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: Ong Ye Kung takes down video showing young boy as it violates election rules

SINGAPORE - Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has removed a three-minute video from his Facebook page, featuring a young boy living in Sembawang, after he was informed the video violates election rules.

"I had a nice conversation with a boy Jony who lives in Sembawang about how it is a good place to grow up. Jony is a great sport, we had a good chat, and we put up a short (video)," said Mr Ong in a Facebook post on Thursday (July 2).

"However, we have been informed by authorities that this is not in line with electoral rules. We have therefore taken down the video. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: MOM refutes PSP figure of 100,000 unemployed local PMETs in TV debate

SINGAPORE - It is incorrect to say that Singapore has 100,000 local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) who are out of a job, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (July 2), refuting a figure cited by the Progress Singapore Party during a televised live debate on Wednesday.

As of June last year, there were 39,000 local unemployed PMETs, said the ministry in a statement, less than half of the 100,000 figure quoted by Mr Francis Yuen of the PSP during the programme, Singapore Votes 2020 - The Political Debate, on Channel 5.

MOM said it got its 39,000 figure from the Report on Labour Force in Singapore 2019 released on Jan 30 this year. This year’s figures will be released in the report early next year as the survey is conducted annually, it said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: I did not say Singapore should plan to increase its population to 10 million, says Heng Swee Keat


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - He did not say that Singapore should plan to increase its population to 10 million people, nor did he mention the figure. In fact, the Singapore population is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

In a Facebook post on Thursday (July 2), Mr Heng clarified that he was asked at a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student union ministerial forum in 2019 about Singapore's Population White Paper.

"In my response, I mentioned that former chief planner Liu Thai Ker had publicly said that we should go for an even higher number," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: Vivian Balakrishnan refutes Chee Soon Juan on SDP's 10m population claim


Source: The Straits Times

Figure is a falsehood, says minister, who adds that Govt has no target for S'pore population

Singapore's population will not go up to 6.9 million, let alone 10 million, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

Responding to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan during a live debate broadcast on TV and online, Dr Balakrishnan said the 10 million figure is a "strawman" and a "falsehood".

During the debate, Dr Chee had taken aim at Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat for "toying with the idea" of having a population of 10 million people in Singapore.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: Voters on SHN at hotels can cast their ballot in room

Polling teams will go door-to-door on July 10 to deliver ballot papers to all voters on stay-home notice (SHN) at hotels, the Elections Department (ELD) said yesterday.

After opening the room door, the voter in the designated facility has to stand 1m away, lower his mask momentarily and show his identity card or passport to the polling team.

Once the voter's identity has been checked against the SHN voter register, the team will read out the voter's electoral division, polling district and voter serial number before handing over the ballot paper.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: SDA and PV trade barbs over three-cornered fight in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

The two opposition parties facing the People's Action Party (PAP) in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC have turned their attention to each other instead of the ruling party - with a dispute brewing over who caused the rare three-cornered GRC fight.

The Peoples Voice party (PV) and Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) yesterday blamed each other for the first multi-cornered fight in a GRC since 1992, with accusations centring on an audio clip allegedly showing PV chief Lim Tean disparaging opposition unity.

Mr Lim said the SDA never contacted them to discuss overlapping claims despite SDA saying it had sent several messages to him.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: NSP unveils manifesto, calls for halt in GST hike


Source: The Straits Times

It also proposes allowing temporary CPF withdrawals, cutting defence expenditure

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has announced its party manifesto for the general election on July 10, which calls for the upcoming goods and services tax (GST) hike to be scrapped, and for retrenched workers or those in need to be allowed to make temporary withdrawals from their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account.

The manifesto, which was uploaded on the party's Facebook page on Nomination Day, said the Government should look beyond the GST for alternative sources of revenue, instead of raising the GST, which is slated to rise from 7 per cent to 9 per cent between 2022 and 2025.

It was originally set to go up from 7 per cent to 9 per cent between next year and 2025, but Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has made it clear that the rise will not take place next year.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

2 July: Singapore GE2020: WP has done the math on its proposals, says Jamus Lim in live TV debate


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has been called "PAP-lite" because of how similar its positions are to the ruling party, but the opposition party's more left-wing stance raises the question of how it would pay for its programmes, said Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in a live TV debate on Wednesday (July 1).

Key proposals in WP's manifesto for the General Election include scrapping the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike, introducing a national minimum wage as well as a redundancy insurance scheme, and lowering the cost of intermediate and long-term care for patients whose monthly household per capita income is below $3,200, among others.

The People's Action Party "could have written this manifesto", noted Dr Balakrishnan, 59, in the second half of the hour-long debate, a question and answer format that allowed the candidates to put questions to him and vice versa.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: GE 2020: Post Nomination Day

Eugene Tan, Associate Professor of Law, Singapore Management University gives an analysis on the surprises we saw on GE 2020's Nomination Day and what campaigning will be like for this special election due to Covid-19.

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Closer scrutiny in Parliament will help guide nation out of crisis, says WP in first Hammer Show

SINGAPORE - With the Covid-19 pandemic far from over, and much more uncertainty in the road ahead, the time for change is now, said the Workers' Party (WP) in its first online talk show on Wednesday (July 1).

"In these uncertain and worrying times brought about by the Covid-19 crisis worldwide, and given the uncertain leadership demonstrated by the PAP 4G leadership, it is not the right time to give them a strong mandate; far from it," said the opposition party's Mr Dennis Tan, a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) and WP's candidate for the Hougang single-member constituency.

On the contrary, said Mr Tan, it was time for Singaporeans to vote in more WP MPs into Parliament, so policies can be scrutinised to ensure Singapore comes out of the crisis "in the right way".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Automatic recount if difference in votes between candidates is 2% or less

SINGAPORE - For this general election, an "automatic" recount will be carried out if the difference in votes between candidates contesting a constituency is 2 per cent or less.

Previously, candidates or counting agents had to apply for a recount.

The change was highlighted by the Elections Department (ELD) on Wednesday (July 1), when it announced the arrangements for the July 10 polls.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Investors have confidence in S'pore due to quality of government and strong support it has from people, says PM Lee

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) secured $13 billion in new investments in only the first four months of this year - and that money will generate several thousand jobs over the next few years.

It is an extraordinary thing because in an ordinary year, the EDB would attract about $10 billion for the whole year.

So, how was EDB able to do this during a pandemic and a recession?
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Special voting hour for Singaporeans on SHN at home and unwell voters


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans serving stay-home notices (SHN) will be able to leave their homes to vote at their assigned polling stations on Polling Day, but can do so only during a one-hour slot.

In announcing the voting arrangements for the July 10 polls - which is happening amid the Covid-19 pandemic - the Elections Department (ELD) said that a special voting hour between 7pm and 8pm will be set aside for certain groups of voters. They include those on medical leave for acute respiratory infection, and those who are detected with a temperature of 37.5 deg C and higher at polling stations on Polling Day.

The arrangements would minimise these people's contact with others, while still allowing them to exercise their right to vote, the ELD said on Wednesday (July 1).
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Masks, party secrets and surprises


Source: The Straits Times

No big crowds this time, but nomination centre in the east sees some campaign colour and a surprise unveiling

Masked candidates, party secrets and even surprises played out at the St Anthony's Canossian Primary School nomination centre, nestled in the leafy edge of the supersized Bedok housing estate.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat might be a familiar face, but few were expecting him here. His arrival set up an interesting contest for the East Coast GRC.

To keep up the surprise, he had arrived separately from his GRC comrades - Dr Maliki Osman, Ms Jessica Tan, Ms Cheryl Chan and new face Tan Kiat How.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Former trade minister Lim Hng Kiang retires from politics


Source: The Straits Times

Incumbent MP for West Coast GRC saw nation through global financial crisis and Sars

After nearly three decades in politics, former minister of trade and industry Lim Hng Kiang took to social media yesterday to formally confirm his retirement.

In a Facebook video address to his residents, the long-time MP for West Coast GRC told the residents of his Telok Blangah ward that his desire is for a seamless transition that will "steward Telok Blangah to even greater heights".

"We have done so much together," said 66-year-old Mr Lim, adding that he had especially enjoyed watching the growth and progress of their children and grandchildren.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

1 July: Singapore GE2020: Tribute to four departing MPs from Malay/Muslim community


Clockwise from top left: Former minister Yaacob Ibrahim; Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar; Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef; and Mr Zainal Sapari are not standing in the upcoming election. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said they had each made invaluable contributions to the community.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli paid tribute to four departing Malay/ Muslim Members of Parliament yesterday, saying they had each made invaluable contributions to the community.

Former minister for communications and information Yaacob Ibrahim, 64; Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, 43; Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, 54; and Mr Zainal Sapari, 54, are not standing in the upcoming general election.

In a Facebook post, Mr Masagos lauded the "strong leadership, guidance and support" of the Malay/Muslim MPs, which contributed to the effective implementation of policies and community projects.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

#GE2020: Who is standing in your constituency?

Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(0407_5GRC_WEB) - MONEYFM89.3Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(0107_4GRCCandidates_WEB) - MONEYFM89.3Singapore-General-Elections-2020-(GE2020_SMC_FB) - MONEYFM89.3

Source: Elections Department Singapore

30 June: Singapore GE2020: This is a crisis election that will shape Singapore's future, says PM Lee


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - This is a crisis election, and the path Singapore takes from here will depend on the government the people choose and the mandate it is given, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (June 30).

While some expect a flight to safety and familiarity in times of crisis, PM Lee said he did not agree with this view. The People's Action Party (PAP), he said, does not take for granted that voters will naturally keep voting for the ruling party.

Like Singapore's first general election in 1959, or the polls in 2001 that took place after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, this year's is an "election during a crisis (and) these are elections that focus everyone's minds, and they can also change the course of history", he added.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

30 June: Singapore GE2020: Lee Hsien Yang not standing as candidate


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Despite actively campaigning in Tanjong Pagar GRC over the past week and refusing the rule out the possibility of contesting the election, Mr Lee Hsien Yang will not be on the ballot for the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on July 10.

Mr Lee, 62, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, turned up this morning at a coffeeshop near the nomination centre for Tanjong Pagar GRC wearing a PSP polo shirt, but he did not walk into the centre.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

30 June: Singapore GE2020: All 93 seats to be contested at July 10 election; 192 candidates from 11 parties file papers on Nomination Day

SINGAPORE - For the second general election in a row, there will be contests in all seats, of which there are 93 this time.

Nomination Day on Tuesday (June 30) saw a total of 192 candidates file papers to contest every seat in 17 group representation constituencies (GRCs) and 14 single-member constituencies (SMCs). With no walkovers, it means all 2.65 million eligible voters will soon receive polling cards to let them vote on July 10.

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is the only party with candidates contesting every seat.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

30 June: Nomination Day Live | MONEY FM 89.3 & The Straits Times

30 June: Singapore GE2020: Five things to look out for today

The ruling PAP is likely to be challenged in all 93 seats at the close of nomination proceedings today. Here are five things to look out for on Nomination Day:

1. WHO WILL HELM THE PEOPLE'S ACTION PARTY TEAM IN EAST COAST GRC?
For the People's Action Party's (PAP) East Coast team, this year's general election marks the end of an era.

Mr Lim Swee Say, the group representation constituency's anchor minister, is set to retire. But the identity of his successor is perhaps the party's best-kept secret so far.

2. WHO WILL BE IN THE WORKERS' PARTY LINE-UP FOR EAST COAST GRC AND PUNGGOL WEST SMC?
The Workers' Party's (WP) East Coast slate from the last general election will not be making a comeback this year. Associate Professor Daniel Goh has dropped out, citing health reasons. Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam will move to contest as part of the WP's Aljunied GRC team instead.

It remains unclear who the WP has decided to field in East Coast, which saw the closest contest in 2011 when the PAP won with 54.8 per cent of the vote. In 2015, the PAP secured 60.7 per cent of the vote against the WP.

3. HOW MANY MULTI-CORNERED FIGHTS WILL THERE BE?
Opposition parties will be heading to the polls without having had their usual pow-wow to avoid three-cornered fights. Instead, parties held discussions with one another directly or in small groups - a process that has so far produced mixed results.

Multi-cornered fights are expected to take place in at least three constituencies - Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and the single seats of Pioneer and Punggol West. But more could emerge if independent candidates decide to toss their hats into the ring as well.

4. WILL LEE HSIEN YANG STAND FOR ELECTION?
Mr Lee, the 62-year-old estranged brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is currently a member of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) led by Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

He has also been accompanying the party's members on their walkabouts. But Mr Lee Hsien Yang was not among the 24 candidates introduced by the PSP last week.

5. HOW WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT NOMINATION DAY PROCEEDINGS?
With entry into nomination centres restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Nomination Day is likely to be a much more subdued affair.

Only candidates, their proposers, seconders, assenters and accredited media can enter nomination centres. Party supporters will not be allowed to linger nearby, putting an end to the large crowds typically seen on Nomination Day.

Read the full article on The Straits Times

30 June: Singapore GE2020: Eleven parties likely to contest all 93 seats

Nomination Day could see surprises, with some constituency line-ups still under wraps

Parliamentary hopefuls from 11 political parties will head to nine nomination centres today to register for the general election.

The upcoming polls have already thrown up some surprises, and political watchers said more drama might unfold during the nomination process this morning.

While the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is likely to face a contest in all 93 seats, and perhaps even see three-cornered fights in a number of single-member constituencies, uncertainty remains as many parties - including the PAP itself - are keeping their cards close to the chest.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

30 June: Singapore GE2020: Lee Bee Wah, Chia Shi-Lu and Sam Tan among MPs making way for 27 new faces

Incumbent Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah has lit up many a parliamentary sitting with her colourful speeches and relentless advocacy for residents, earning the affectionate nickname of "Hua Jie" or "Sister Flower" among her constituents.

Such speeches will be missed when Parliament sits again. Yesterday, the three-term MP announced her retirement from politics, saying it is part of the renewal process of the People's Action Party (PAP).

New face Carrie Tan, 38, founder of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow, will be taking over from Ms Lee, 59, in her Nee Soon South ward. "I am glad that a much younger candidate has been fielded," Ms Lee wrote on Facebook.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Vote to end the PAP's supermajority, says Lee Hsien Yang

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans must vote to end the ruling People's Action Party's supermajority in Parliament, Progress Singapore Party member Lee Hsien Yang urged voters in a video message posted on Facebook on Monday (June 29).

Mr Lee, whose brother Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is secretary-general of the PAP, criticised the Government on a range of issues as he called for more diversity in Parliament.

"Make your vote in this Covid-19 election count. Choose a Singapore where the daily struggle and sacrifice pay off for all, not just for the natural aristocracy," he said, appearing to reference the Workers' Party election campaign slogan Make Your Vote Count.

"Vote to end the supermajority. Singapore wants different."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Key proposals from the Progress Singapore Party manifesto

SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Monday (June 29) launched its manifesto for the coming general election, with "You Deserve Better" as its campaign slogan.

With proposals focused on a more compassionate approach to policymaking, the 13-page manifesto outlines the party's vision for Singapore in three broad areas: economy, social and politics.

Here are key points from the manifesto presented by PSP vice-chairman Hazel Poa:

1. JOBS FOR SINGAPOREANS
2. LIVING WAGE
3. CENTRAL PROVIDENT FUND (CPF)
4. TAXES AND FEES
5. HOUSING
6. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION
7. PUBLIC SERVICE

Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Ministers caution voters not to assume PAP will be returned to power effortlessly

SINGAPORE - With every constituency set to be contested, it would be a mistake for Singaporeans to think the People's Action Party would be returned to power effortlessly come Polling Day on July 10, two ministers from the ruling party said on Monday (June 29).

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing told reporters that dealing with Covid-19 in the past six months has taught him not to take Singapore's progress for granted, and in the same vein, the ruling party must work hard to earn "each and every vote".

Speaking during a Zoom video conference, he said: "It would be a mistake for all of us to think that going into an election, the PAP will be returned to govern effortlessly."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: PAP Malay candidates are role models, says PM Lee


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - The Malay candidates the PAP has introduced are role models that the party is happy to field for the upcoming election, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who also lauded past Malay MPs for speaking up about national issues.

PM Lee, who is secretary-general of the People's Action Party, said in a virtual press conference on Monday (June 29) that the PAP's new Malay candidates represent a generation of community members who want to contribute more.

"It is a very diverse range. It represents a new generation of young Malay successful people who have made good in life, and who want to give back," said PM Lee, who was introducing the PAP's Ang Mo Kio GRC team.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: No easy fight for East Coast GRC

In the last 14 years, the Workers' Party (WP) has tried three times to win over East Coast residents to its cause. But despite getting closer in 2011, when the national mood swung against the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), voters remained ultimately unconvinced.

This year, the WP is mounting a fresh challenge. But much has changed in both camps since the last time Singaporeans went to the polls.

For the PAP team, this year's general election marks the end of an era. Mr Lim Swee Say, the constituency's anchor minister, is likely to retire. But the identity of his successor is perhaps the party's best-kept secret so far.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Workers' Party wipeout argument a 'tactic', expect hard fight, says PM Lee Hsien Loong

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has described the Workers' Party (WP) suggestion that the People's Action Party could win all 93 seats in the next Parliament as an unrealistic outcome and a "tactic".

In fact, there will be a "hard fight" because people are hurting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he told reporters on Monday (June 29) at the unveiling of candidates for Ang Mo Kio GRC, which he helms.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Lee Bee Wah retiring from politics

SINGAPORE – Three-term Nee Soon South MP Lee Bee Wah announced her retirement from politics on Monday (June 29), saying it is part of the renewal process of the People’s Action Party (PAP).

She will be ceding her place in Nee Soon GRC to new face Carrie Tan, 38, the founder of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Election not about family disputes, PM Lee on brother Lee Hsien Yang joining PSP


Source: People's Action Party Facebook

SINGAPORE - The upcoming general election is not about family disputes, but about Singapore being at a very grave moment in its history, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (June 29).

Responding to a reporter's question on his brother, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, joining the opposition Progress Singapore Party (PSP), PM Lee said it is "within Mr Lee Hsien Yang's rights as a citizen" to join any political party.

But he stressed that "this GE is not about me or any family disputes which may involve my brother and me. It's about Singapore's future at a very grave moment in our history".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: PAP names Xie Yao Quan to replace Ivan Lim in its Jurong GRC team


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The PAP has introduced a new candidate, Mr Xie Yao Quan, 35, as part of its slate for Jurong GRC for the general election.

Mr Xie, the head of healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital, replaces Mr Ivan Lim, 42, who withdrew his candidacy in the face of online allegations that he said had eclipsed the core issues of this election.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who introduced Mr Xie to reporters on Monday (June 29), noted that at every election, the People's Action Party has more candidates than are necessary for the seats it is going to contest.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

29 June: Singapore GE2020: Former SingFirst chief Tan Jee Say asks to rejoin SDP after dissolving his party


Source: Lianhe Wanbao

SINGAPORE - Former Singaporeans First (SingFirst) chief Tan Jee Say has asked to rejoin the Singapore Democratic Party, after his party was dissolved last week.

Posting on Facebook on Monday morning, he wrote: "Singapore needs a strong opposition to check the Government and provide an alternative voice for the people.

"In this light, I initiated contact with Dr Chee and told him that I would like to rejoin SDP because firstly, the values of SDP reflect the values and beliefs I champion for Singaporeans."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: From Marymount to Potong Pasir, 6 SMCs to watch

Here are six single-member constituencies (SMCs) to watch - new seats Kebun Baru, Marymount, Punggol West and Yio Chu Kang, as well as Bukit Batok and Potong Pasir

MARYMOUNT
The newly carved-out seat of Marymount is likely to see a straight fight between the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).

A three-cornered fight had been brewing, until the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced yesterday it will not be contesting the general election.

KEBUN BARU
Another newly carved out seat, Kebun Baru, will also see the PAP and the PSP go head to head.

Kebun Baru SMC was folded into Ang Mo Kio GRC in 1991. In 2015, it was redrawn into Nee Soon GRC. This time round, it is back out on its own after nearly three decades. The constituency has 22,653 voters. Two in five residents are Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors, and the seat has traditionally been a PAP stronghold.

PUNGGOL WEST
Here, the prospect of a three-cornered fight still looms, between the PAP, the Workers' Party (WP) and the Peoples Voice party (PV).

The seat, formerly part of the sprawling Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, has been helmed by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Sun Xueling.

The area is home to many young families and has 26,579 voters.

YIO CHU KANG
This may also be the scene of a three-cornered fight. The PAP, the PSP and the Reform Party (RP) could face off in this new single-seat constituency, previously part of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

BUKIT BATOK
The contest over this seat will, just as in 2015, involve the PAP and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

In 2015, PAP's David Ong won 73.02 per cent of the vote in a three-way fight with SDP's Sadasivam Veriyah and independent candidate Samir Salim Neji.

This time round, it will be SDP chief Chee Soon Juan up against current PAP MP Murali Pillai, vying for the support of 29,950 voters.

POTONG PASIR
Its electoral boundaries were changed for the first time in more than three decades in the latest review.

Current two-term PAP MP Sitoh Yih Pin is set to go head to head with Mr Jose Raymond, chairman of the Singapore People's Party (SPP), fighting for the votes of 19,740 residents.

Potong Pasir was the stronghold of opposition stalwart Chiam See Tong for 27 years until 2011, when he left to contest elsewhere.

Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: Singapore People's Party launches manifesto

SINGAPORE - The Singapore People's Party (SPP) launched its manifesto on Sunday (June 28), outlining its key positions on a spectrum of issues, ranging from the cost of living to climate change.

The party said its policies and positions are designed for the long term, and not just to tackle the short-term issues posed or exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 24-page manifesto was launched at a virtual press conference conducted via teleconferencing platform Zoom.

SPP secretary-general Steve Chia said the party wants to "show people that SPP is a credible party with credible ideas and credible proposals", through a more comprehensive manifesto.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: Red Dot United plans to push for changes in housing, healthcare and employment if elected


(From left) Red Dot United members Liyana Dhamirah, Alec Tok Kim Yam, Michelle Lee, Ravi Philemon and Nicholas Tang at a coffee shop at Block 503 Jurong West Street 52, on June 28, 2020.
Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore's newest political party Red Dot United (RDU) plans to push for policy changes in areas like housing, healthcare and employment if its members are elected.

In a 12-page charter released on Sunday (June 28), RDU said policy changes in these areas are needed to improve the lives of Singaporeans, and to reduce the anxiety and stress that they face every day.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: 10 proposals from the Workers' Party manifesto

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) on Sunday (June 28) launched its manifesto for the general election, with proposals such as scrapping the planned goods and services tax (GST) hike, implementing a national minimum wage and giving free public transport to elderly Singaporeans.

Here are 10 key proposals from the WP manifesto:

1. SCRAP THE GST HIKE
The WP opposes the Government's plan to increase the GST from the current 7 per cent to 9 per cent by 2025.

2. LOWER CPF PAYOUT AGE TO 60 AND INTRODUCE A SPECIAL DIVIDEND FROM GIC INVESTMENTS
The WP says the Central Provident Fund (CPF) payout eligibility age and CPF Life eligibility age, which is currently 65, should be lowered to 60.

3. INTRODUCE A NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
The WP says there are more than 100,000 Singaporeans who earn a take-home pay of less than $1,300 a month while engaged in full-time work.

This figure is the amount an average four-person household in Singapore needs to spend on basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter each month.

4. INTRODUCE A REDUNDANCY INSURANCE SCHEME
Technological disruption and global events will lead to higher rates of workers, especially those who are middle-aged and older, becoming redundant. This heightens the insecurity they face.

The WP proposes a redundancy insurance scheme for workers, under which they will pay $4 a month, matched by employers, into an Employment Security Fund.

Retrenched workers will then receive a payout equivalent to 40 per cent of their last drawn salary for up to six months.

5. WIDEN THE USE OF MEDISAVE FOR THOSE OVER 60
Patients older than 60 should be allowed to use their Medisave for all medical expenses not already covered by Medishield Life, Medifund or other assistance schemes, the WP says.

6. LOWER THE COST OF INTERMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM CARE (ILTC)
Patients with a monthly household per capita income of below $3,200 should receive subsidies of 65 to 80 per cent for approved ILTC services such as community hospitals, nursing homes, day care services and home-based care.

7. IMPROVE ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY PLACES FOR SINGAPOREANS
Universities should implement targeted programmes and mentorships to widen access to students from all backgrounds, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds and students with no family history of attending university.

8. MAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT FREE FOR SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Train and bus fares should be waived for Singaporeans over 65 and those with disabilities.

9. UNIVERSAL HDB LEASE BUY-BACK AND LOWER MINIMUM AGE FOR SINGLES TO GET BTO FLATS
A universal buy-back scheme should be offered to all Housing Board flat lessees.

10. ENSURE THE INDEPENDENCE OF NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND ABOLISH GRCS
Close relatives and current or former party colleagues of political office-holders should not be appointed to key positions in national institutions such as organs of state, national media companies and sovereign wealth funds.

The WP says national institutions should not only be independent but they must also be seen to be independent.

Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: Retiree concerned about climate issues plans to run as an independent in Pioneer SMC


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A 65-year-old retired financial accountant who is passionate about environmental issues intends to run as an independent candidate in Pioneer SMC, raising the prospect of a four-cornered fight there.

Mr Victor Ronnie Lai told The Straits Times he has obtained a political donation certificate, and will put his name in the ballot on Nomination Day on Tuesday (June 30).

Mr Lai said he decided to run in Pioneer SMC because the name of the constituency represents hope and new beginnings.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: PM Lee thanks Charles Chong, who twice snatched victory from WP


Source: Charles Chong Facebook

He is the man the PAP sends in when it has a tough fight on its hands, in a single seat and near to the polls.

Mr Charles Chong, 67, Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the ruling party's longest-serving backbencher, is retiring after 32 years.

He won by the "narrowest of margins" in the last two elections not because he was a weak MP, but because he could be relied on to "fight hard and fight smart" in a tough contest, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday in tribute.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

28 June: Singapore GE2020: SDA chairman to step down after election

Desmond Lim says next generation is ready; party's chief media officer expected to take over

Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) chairman Desmond Lim Bak Chuan, 53, will be stepping down from his position after the general election.

Mr Lim told The Sunday Times that this will be the last election campaign that he leads, adding that he believes the party's younger generation is ready to take over.

"After this election, I will hand over to my successor," he said during a walkabout in Pasir Ris-Punggol yesterday, where the party also introduced its candidates.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

27 June: Singapore GE 2020: PAP new face Ivan Lim withdraws from election following allegations about his past behaviour


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - People's Action Party (PAP) new face Ivan Lim will not be a candidate in the general election, after allegations about his past conduct and behaviour emerged online.

The PAP announced on Saturday (June 27) that Mr Lim had written to its secretary-general, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, earlier in the day to withdraw his candidacy.

Mr Lee has accepted his withdrawal.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

27 June: Singapore GE2020: PAP manifesto Our Lives, Our Jobs, Our Future summed up in 10 parts

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) has unveiled its manifesto for the general election, entitled Our Jobs, Our Lives, Our Future. Below is a summary of key points in the 10 areas it covers:

1. FACING THE CRISIS OF A LIFETIME TOGETHER
2. STAYING SAFE AND HEALTHY TOGETHER
3. CREATING JOBS AND ACQUIRING SKILLS TOGETHER
4. TRANSFORMING AND GROWING THE ECONOMY TOGETHER
5. PROVIDING CARE AND SUPPORT TOGETHER
6. BUILDING A STRONG AND RESILIENT SOCIETY TOGETHER
7. LIVING SUSTAINABLY TOGETHER
8. BUILDING OUR CITY TOGETHER
9. CREATING A NEW FUTURE TOGETHER
10. OVERCOMING CRISIS TOGETHER

Read the full article on The Straits Times

27 June: Singapore GE2020: Balance in Parliament still important as Singapore fights Covid-19, says WP chief Pritam Singh


Source: Workers' Party

SINGAPORE - The balance in Parliament remains important even as Singapore fights Covid-19 together, said Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh on Saturday (June 27), as he urged Singaporeans to vote to ensure there is a credible opposition in the House.

Speaking at the party's candidate introduction press conference, Mr Singh noted that the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will have a strong mandate even if the WP wins all the 21 seats it is contesting.

"The PAP are going to contest in 93 seats, the Workers Party is contesting in 21 seats, and that leaves us potentially 72 seats in PAP's hands. I'm not sure whether that equates to a weak mandate. I think that's still a strong mandate for the PAP," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

27 June: Singapore GE2020: PM Lee Hsien Loong unveils PAP's manifesto, focus is on working together to overcome Covid-19 crisis


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - The general election is not a normal one, with Singapore in the middle of the most severe crisis the world has faced for decades, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (June 27).

Setting out what is at stake as he launched the People's Action Party's campaign manifesto, PM Lee stressed that the immediate business of running Singapore is anything but routine.

"Without a herculean effort by us, we cannot be certain that what we have painstakingly built over decades will continue to stand, and not collapse in the storm," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

27 June: Singapore GE2020: Continuity in policies key to Singapore's success, says Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE - As he unveiled the final batch of the ruling People Action Party's (PAP) new faces contesting in the upcoming general election, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing pinpointed a key ingredient in Singapore's success.

Each new batch of leaders works with its predecessors so that the PAP Government can plan long term and ensure continuity in its policies, said Mr Chan, who is also the party's second assistant secretary-general.

"There is a certain consistency and a certain coherence, and it is not done by just any single batch of people or any individual. That's how we perform as a team for the good of Singapore," he said.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Key issues to be tackled in the upcoming General Election

Singaporeans will go to the polls on July 10, in a general election that will see the contest for hearts and minds waged on a drastically different battleground due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help us make sense of the latest news out this week is Dr Gillian Koh, Deputy Director at the Institute of Policy Studies.

Download the podcast

26 June: Singapore GE2020: Reform Party and PSP in dispute over 'deal' on Yio Chu Kang

SINGAPORE - The Reform Party (RP) is accusing the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) of reneging on an agreement to resolve their overlapping claims - with the two now headed for a three-cornered fight with the People's Action Party (PAP) in Yio Chu Kang SMC.

At the heart of the dispute is whether PSP had agreed to give up contesting Yio Chu Kang SMC in return for RP making way in West Coast GRC.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock's PSP says that no such agreement was reached.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Singapore GE2020: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan will not contest election, to retire from politics


Source: Khaw Boon Wan Facebook

SINGAPORE - Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, 67, will retire from politics and not contest the upcoming general election, ending a near two-decade-long political career.

Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure, entered politics in 2001, and is well-known for having tackled thorny issues across various ministries.

In a valedictory letter to the veteran politician, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that as Senior Minister of State for Health during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003, Mr Khaw was on the front line, checking on arrangements and encouraging hospital staff.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Singapore GE2020: Masagos responds to criticism of Ivan Lim, says election candidates will have to prove themselves


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - People's Action Party vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli on Friday (June 26) addressed online criticism of the party's new face Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan, saying it is important for candidates who face allegations to prove themselves.

He added that candidates should not be defined by a single moment in time or in their career, but judged instead by their growth throughout their life.

A number of negative online comments have surfaced since Mr Lim, 42, was introduced as a PAP candidate on Wednesday, from people who claimed to have known him during national service or in polytechnic.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Singapore GE2020: We welcome others to come and stand, says Chan Chun Sing on prospect of Lee Hsien Yang contesting Tanjong Pagar


Source: People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - The PAP team in Tanjong Pagar GRC welcomes others to contest the seat as it will give residents a choice but it is not focused on "who is coming or going", Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Friday (June 26).

The ruling party's focus, said Mr Chan, is the same as it has been for many years - working closely with residents to continue solving their issues, taking care of them, and also collectively taking care of Singapore.

Mr Chan, who is the PAP second assistant secretary-general, said: "For Tanjong Pagar, we welcome other people to come and stand. It offers Tanjong Pagar residents a choice. We are not particularly focused on who is coming or going."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Singapore GE2020: Peoples Voice to contest 2 GRCs, 3 single wards

The Peoples Voice (PV) will be fielding 12 candidates for the general election and contesting five constituencies, party chief Lim Tean said yesterday in a Facebook post, adding three constituencies to the two it announced earlier.

The constituencies are Jalan Besar GRC and Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC, and the single wards of Pioneer, Mountbatten and Punggol West.

On Wednesday, Mr Lim identified Pasir Ris-Punggol and Punggol West as the party's intended targets.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

26 June: Workers' Party to field 21 candidates in 4 GRCs, two single seats

The opposition Workers' Party (WP) will contest in four group representation constituencies and two single-member constituencies in the general election on July 10.

In addition to defending Aljunied GRC, which it first won in 2011, and its north-eastern bastion of Hougang SMC, the party said it will also contest in Marine Parade GRC, Sengkang GRC, East Coast GRC and Punggol West SMC.

WP chief Pritam Singh announced this at a virtual press conference yesterday, during which the party leaders also introduced four candidates.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: SingFirst leader Tan Jee Say announces dissolution of party


Source: SingFirst Facebook

SINGAPORE - The Singaporeans First (SingFirst) party has been dissolved, narrowing the field of opposition parties looking to contest the upcoming general election to 11.

SingFirst secretary-general Tan Jee Say on Thursday (June 25) announced on Facebook that the party's central executive committee had decided to dissolve the party as it believes a strong opposition is best achieved with consolidation.

"This decision was not made lightly, but we believe that this move is in the best interests of Singapore," he said in the statement.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: Workers' Party's Low Thia Khiang , Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat step down, will not contest next GE

SINGAPORE - Former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang, as well as party stalwarts Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat, will not be standing as candidates during the general election on July 10.

WP chief Pritam Singh made the shock announcement at the end of a virtual press conference on Thursday (June 25), saying that the party leadership came to this collective decision with the three men some time ago, when all three shared their wishes to step down at the end of their term.

"However their decision to step down is not a retirement," said Mr Singh.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong retires from politics after 44 years as MP


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, 79, is retiring from politics after 44 years as a Member of Parliament.

Mr Goh announced his decision in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (June 24) and PM Lee has accepted his decision to retire from politics.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: Workers' Party announces it will contest 4 GRCs and 2 SMCs

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) will be contesting four group representation constituencies (GRC) and two single-member constituencies (SMC) in the July 10 general election.

They will defend their seats in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, and field candidates to contest Marine Parade GRC, Sengkang GRC, East Coast GRC and Punggol West SMC.

Party chief Pritam Singh announced this at a virtual press conference on Thursday (June 25), where the party introduced two new candidates.

The two first-time candidates are research analyst at an investment bank Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33, and Mr Muhammad Azhar Abdul Latip, 34, a gig economy worker.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: 3-way fights inevitable with record 12 opposition parties, say observers


The 2015 General Election saw three-way fights in three SMCs, including MacPherson. Multi-cornered fights are inevitable, but are unlikely to happen in GRCs, which require more resources to contest, said one expert.
Source: The Straits Times

Overlapping interest to contest in at least four constituencies has yet to be resolved

Singapore could see more three-cornered fights in the 2020 General Election, with a record 12 opposition parties looking to enter the fray. As of yesterday, overlapping claims have yet to be resolved in at least four constituencies.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: Nomination Day to be more subdued affair amid Covid-19 restrictions

Nomination centres are typically a hive of activity at election time.

But the proceedings this year will be much more subdued, with entry into the centres restricted owing to Covid-19.

Nomination Day is on June 30 in this general election.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

25 June: Singapore GE2020: Lee Hsien Yang joins Progress Singapore Party

Mr Lee Hsien Yang, estranged brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has joined Dr Tan Cheng Bock's Progress Singapore Party (PSP), the party announced yesterday.

At a breakfast meeting at Tiong Bahru Market, Dr Tan presented Mr Lee Hsien Yang with a membership card.

Dr Tan said that Mr Lee has been a member "for quite some time", but due to the Covid-19 situation, they were unable to have a proper membership card presentation ceremony.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

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24 June: Singapore GE2020: Election will give Govt fresh mandate to tackle future challenges, says labour chief Ng Chee Meng

SINGAPORE - It is important for the Government to get a new mandate from the people to address the challenges that lie ahead for Singapore. And that is what the Government will be seeking at the July 10 election, labour chief Ng Chee Meng said on Wednesday (June 24).

He said: "Like Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, it's an important thing for us to do, so that we get the people's mandate and deal with the issues ahead."

Mr Ng, who is a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and has been an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC since 2015, added: "There will be challenges. So, I think when things are stabilised, we should take this opportunity to seek the mandate from the people to move forward."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

24 June: GE2020 - why a new mandate is needed: PM Lee


Source: MCI

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his televised address yesterday explained why the elections need to be called, given the Covid-19 challenges and other uncertainties ahead.

Read the text of his speech on The Straits Times

24 June: Yaacob Ibrahim bids farewell to politics after 23 years as MP

Former communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim bade farewell to politics yesterday, and reflected fondly on his 23 years as an MP.

In a highly personal Facebook post, Dr Yaacob, 64, thanked colleagues, grassroots leaders and fellow MPs, and said that he was "blessed" to have known so many residents in his Kolam Ayer ward in Jalan Besar GRC. He said: "Some whom I met as children have grown into proud parents, while others have left us, leaving behind their legacies in the constituency. I have grown with them, becoming one of them as their friend.

"I thank them all for opening their doors and hearts to me, allowing me to enter a world full of warmth, camaraderie and spirit. During all those years, my race never mattered to them."
Read the full article on The Straits Times

24 June: Opposition sees new parties and leaders

After biggest overhaul in decades, crowded field could see more three-cornered contests

With its two stalwarts now either retired or playing reduced roles, and with an influx of new parties forcing a reshuffling of the pack, the opposition has undergone its biggest overhaul in decades.

The Workers' Party (WP), the largest opposition force and the only one which had Parliament seats, is facing its first election with a new secretary-general since 2001, with Mr Low Thia Khiang having handed the reins in 2018 to Mr Pritam Singh. It is also unclear if the party's biggest personality will contest the election after suffering a fall that landed him in hospital earlier this year.

For the first time since 1976, there will also be no candidate named Chiam on the ballot, as both opposition veteran Chiam See Tong and his wife Lina Chiam are sitting out the contest.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

23 June: Singapore GE2020: Political parties swing into high gear ahead of July 10 election

SINGAPORE - Political parties have hit the ground running in their 17-day sprint to the polls on July 10, when the long-anticipated general election will be held.

But barred from meeting in large groups because of the coronavirus pandemic, parties have broken with tradition and turned to the online space instead, ironing out the finer details of campaign strategies through a flurry of WhatsApp messages and Zoom calls.

These include discussions on logistics, budgeting, the coordination of volunteer efforts, and each party's approach to rally videos, which will play a central role in this year's polls.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

23 June: Singapore GE: 15 ways the general election on July 10 will differ from past polls

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will go to the polls on July 10, with Nomination Day taking place on June 30. Polling Day will be a public holiday.

This general election, which will take place amid the Covid-19 pandemic, will be unique in Singapore's history due to safe distancing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

The Straits Times takes a look at 15 key changes and new measures for the election.

1. MORE MP SEATS AND VOTERS; SMALLER GRCS ON AVERAGE
2. NEW CONSTITUENCIES
3. BOUNDARY CHANGES
4. NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR ELECTION CANDIDATES
5. NO PHYSICAL RALLIES OR MEETINGS; ONLINE CAMPAIGNING ALLOWED
6. WALKABOUTS AND DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGNING
7. CONSTITUENCY POLITICAL BROADCASTS
8. USE OF VEHICLES FOR CAMPAIGNING
9. PRECAUTIONS ON NOMINATION DAY
10. BEWARE OF FOREIGN INTERFERENCE
11. STRICTER ONLINE ADVERTISING RULES
12. CAN THOSE ON STAY-HOME NOTICE VOTE?
13. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AT POLLING STATIONS
14. SAFER AND SMOOTHER PROCESS FOR CASTING VOTES
15. SHORTER VOTE-TALLYING PROCESS

Read the full article on The Straits Times


Source: The Straits Times

23 June: What are the hot seats to watch this election

SINGAPORE - Here are some seats to watch when Singaporeans head to the polls on Friday, July 10.

GROUP REPRESENTATION CONSTITUENCIES

ALJUNIED GRC
The Workers' Party (WP) wrested the five-member GRC from the ruling party at the 2011 polls in a historic win. In the last election, the WP was able to cling on with 50.95 per cent of the vote against 49.05 per cent for the People's Action Party (PAP) team led by veteran MP Yeo Guat Kwang.

The GRC - home to 151,007 voters - is likely to again provide the hottest contest between the ruling party and the WP.

EAST COAST GRC
The WP has faced off here against the PAP in the last three general elections, and the WP is expected to again put up a fight this year, likely fielding its second-best team.

SENGKANG GRC
The new GRC has been formed by taking the Sengkang Central ward from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and combining it with Punggol East SMC and part of Sengkang West SMC. It has 120,166 voters.

Sengkang West and Punggol East have traditionally been WP stomping grounds. The PAP won Punggol East by a slim margin in the 2015 election, and the WP has continued to walk the ground in the areas now under Sengkang GRC.

WEST COAST GRC
Former PAP MP Tan Cheng Bock returns to his old stomping ground as an opposition candidate for the first time, making the battle for West Coast GRC one to watch. Dr Tan is a well-known face here. He was a popular MP who held the Ayer Rajah seat for the ruling party for 26 years from 1980 to 2006, when his stronghold was absorbed into West Coast GRC.

This time, he is expected to lead a team from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) but it has been 14 years since he retired as a PAP MP, and voter profiles in the area are likely to have changed.

SINGLE-MEMBER CONSTITUENCIES

KEBUN BARU SMC
Signs point to a three-cornered fight between PAP, PSP and DPP in Kebun Baru SMC, which has been carved out of Nee Soon GRC. Before that, it was part of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Kebun Baru has 22,653 voters. Two in five residents in the ward are Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors, and it has traditionally been a PAP stronghold.

MARYMOUNT SMC
A three-cornered fight appears to be shaping up in the single seat of Marymount, this time among the PAP, PSP and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The seat, which has been carved out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, has 23,444 voters.

PUNGGOL WEST SMC
The seat has been carved out of the sprawling Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, and has been helmed by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Sun Xueling.

The area is home to many young families and has 26,579 voters.

YIO CHU KANG SMC
The PAP, PSP and RP could face off in this new single-seat constituency, which was previously part of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

A likely PAP candidate in this SMC, with 26,005 voters, is former public servant Yip Hon Weng, who recently stepped down as group chief of the Silver Generation Office under the Agency for Integrated Care.

Read the full article on The Straits Times

23 June: Singapore General Election 2020: Singaporeans will go to the polls on July 10

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will go to the polls on July 10, in a general election that will see the contest for hearts and minds waged on a drastically different battleground due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The widely anticipated announcement of the election date came on Tuesday (June 23), when President Halimah Yacob dissolved Singapore's 13th Parliament and issued the Writ of Election.

Nomination Day will be next Tuesday (June 30), with the minimum of nine days to campaign before Cooling-off Day on July 9. Polling Day will be a public holiday. Read the full article on The Straits Times

23 June: Parliament dissolved; Writ of Election


Source: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob dissolved Parliament on Tuesday (June 23), setting in motion a widely-anticipated general election that will take place in phase two of Singapore's reopening after the circuit breaker.

A Writ of Election, which specifies the date of the polls, is expected to be issued shortly. Nomination Day will be on June 30, said the Prime Minister's Office in a statement. Read the full article on The Straits Times

23 June: Singapore GE: Election will be ‘like no other’ not just because of Covid-19, but important issues at stake, says PM Lee

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (June 23) said he has decided to call the general election now, while the Covid-19 situation is relatively stable, to give the new government a fresh five-year mandate.

In a televised address to the nation, Mr Lee said this election will be like no other that Singapore has experienced – not just because of the special arrangements to deal with Covid-19, but also the gravity of the situation and the issues at stake.

“The government that you elect will have critical decisions to make,” he said. “These decisions will impact your lives and livelihoods, and shape Singapore for many years to come, far beyond the five-year term of the next government.”
Read the full article on The Straits Times

21 June: Singapore GE: Campaign going online may shape poll practices in the future

Singapore's political system has always evolved incrementally, with change taking place in a carefully managed way, but as with other parts of society it is not immune to the headwinds brought forth by Covid-19.

The Elections Department (ELD) has taken care to emphasise that the new campaigning rules it announced last week - should hustings be held in phase two - are meant to be a special, one-off arrangement given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but observers say that some of these stipulations may yet shape future elections.

Compared with the Non-Constituency MP scheme that has slowly evolved since it was introduced in 1984, or Cooling-off Day which was on the table for years before it was announced in 2009, Covid-19 has accelerated the shift towards more use of digital technologies in mere months, note experts.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

21 June: Singapore GE: New campaigning rules require parties to work harder to engage voters

The call-and-response between speaker and crowd, the cheers and jeers - if the upcoming general election is held during phase two of Singapore's reopening, the absence of physical rallies with their boisterous atmosphere will be a key difference from previous electoral cycles.

What is left is likely to be a sombre GE missing the crowds, colour and character of hustings past, which will play to the strengths of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), political observers tell Insight.

Preliminary campaigning guidelines announced on Thursday by the Elections Department (ELD) will see political parties holding e-rallies online in lieu of physical ones.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

21 June: Singapore GE: Many will miss rally atmosphere but people see need to adjust

Insight looks at how people, parties and politics will be affected by new campaign guidelines

While a socially distanced election cannot be avoided in a time of Covid-19, many voters say the new rules should be a one-time exception.

Two-thirds of voters whom Insight spoke to while following candidates from various parties pounding the ground on Friday said they will miss the atmosphere and intimate nature of physical rallies, even as there was broad agreement that the measures are necessary to prevent virus transmission during the hustings.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

21 June: Singapore GE: Elections will turn on jobs, Covid-19 and other issues

A crisis like never before weighs on voters' minds. Danson Cheong and Tee Zhuo report on how Covid-19 will cast a long shadow over issues, new and old, for voters when they head to the polls.

For the past several months, Mr Ivan Yeo, 53, has had no income from the interior design business he has run since 2009.

His family's main breadwinner, he was doing fine before, bringing home up to $5,000 a month. He now delivers parcels for about $100 daily, while his wife continues her job as a secretary, earning about $2,000 a month.

No prizes for guessing why: the Covid-19 pandemic.

Says the father of three: "Do you know how hard the impact is? I still have to pay rental, my housing loan and living expenses."

He and his wife earn enough to get by and the family has some savings. He has also applied for the $9,000 Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme.

As Mr Yeo's situation indicates, jobs and the economy will be at the forefront of the coming general election as never before, owing to the vast disruption caused by Covid-19.

How the pandemic has been handled by the Government, including the fourth generation (4G) political leaders, will also be in the spotlight.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

21 June: Singapore GE: What will sway voters in the coming polls?

Ruling party likely to ask for strong mandate; opposition will seek checks and balances

Every general election has its defining issues and the stance the parties in power and opposition take on them.

The last one in 2015 took place months after founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew died, and voters went to the polls thinking about his legacy and gave the People's Action Party (PAP) he founded a strong mandate to build on this.

In the watershed 2011 poll, angst over immigration and the cost of living propelled the Workers' Party (WP) to its first GRC win, signalling the emergence of a more assertive opposition.

The question now is: What is the defining issue of 2020 and the message the parties will be pitching to voters?
Read the full article on The Straits Times

20 June: Singapore GE: Political parties step out to engage again

PAP MPs, opposition candidates go on walkabouts and home visits while observing safety guidelines

Political parties were back on walkabouts yesterday, hitting the ground on the first day that Singapore eased restrictions on dining in and small social gatherings.

MPs from the People's Action Party (PAP) and candidates from opposition parties were seen meeting residents at markets and doing home visits throughout the day across the island.

In keeping with safe distancing guidelines, however, they wore masks, largely kept to groups of no larger than five and did not shake hands with residents. Parties had put all such activity on hold during the circuit breaker.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

19 June: New rules for GE Campaign

The upcoming general election will take on a markedly different character if it is held in phase two of Singapore's reopening, as seems likely, with political parties taking their message online and candidates being given more airtime on television. To find out the latest, we are joined by Linette Lai, Political Correspondent at The Straits Times.

Download the podcast.

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19 June: Red Dot United's registration approved, 'ready to contest GE'

A record 12 oposition parties could contest the next general election. Red Dot United (RDU), a new political party set up by former PSP members, had its registration approved on Monday.

Despite being formed less than a month ago, the party said it is already prepared to field candidates.

Secretary-general Ravi Philemon, 52, told The Straits Times yesterday that the party had previously said that it is ready for the next general election, and now that it is registered, it is "even more ready".
Read the full article on The Straits Times

18 June: Singapore GE: Opposition parties welcome more airtime but raise concerns about lack of physical rallies

SINGAPORE - Opposition party leaders welcomed the increased airtime on national television for candidates, even as they raised concerns about the loss of in-person rallies.

Reacting to new campaign guidelines announced by the Elections Department for a general election that takes place during phase two of Singapore's reopening, opposition parties were mixed about the restrictions.

Many party leaders said the move to grant three minutes to every candidate was a good platform for them to increase the reach of their messages.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

18 June: S'pore GE: No physical rallies for election campaign, candidates to get TV airtime for constituency political broadcasts

SINGAPORE - There will be no physical rallies if the upcoming general election is held during phase two of Singapore's reopening, with all political parties given extra television airtime instead.

Although walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning will be permitted, groups must not exceed five people and should abide by safe distancing measures, said the Elections Department (ELD) in announcing its preliminary campaign guidelines on Thursday (June 18).

Special livestreaming facilities will also be set up during the campaign period. Candidates will be able to apply to hold e-rallies at these facilities at specific time slots throughout the day during the campaign period.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

9 June: Precautions set out for holding GE during pandemic

The Elections Department (ELD) yesterday announced health and safety guidelines for the coming polls, giving voters a better idea of what an election amid the coronavirus pandemic will look like.

It will involve people voting during recommended two-hour time slots and putting on disposable gloves before they can collect their ballot paper and mark it, among other precautions.

The number of polling stations will be increased from 880 to 1,100, to spread out voters across more stations.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 June: General election will chart Singapore's direction for next decade, says DPM Heng Swee Keat

SINGAPORE - The coming general election will chart the course Singapore takes not just for the next three to six months, but for at least the next five to 10 years, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Monday (June 8).

"The election is really about direction setting," he said in an interview, noting there are significant challenges Singapore has to overcome, and significant opportunities it has to seize, over the coming decade.

"If Covid-19 is a test of a generation, the next five to 10 years will be a test of how our generation overcomes this test... and emerges stronger," he added in the interview with The Straits Times and The Business Times.
Read the full article on The Straits Times

8 June: New safety measures for S'pore GE: What voters need to know

The Elections Department (ELD) on Monday (June 8) outlined safety measures for the upcoming general election, which must be held by April 2021.

Here is what voters need to know:

1. TEMPERATURE SCREENING AT POLLING STATIONS
2. VOTING WINDOWS
3. CONTACTLESS VOTING AND CONTACT TRACING
4. OPTION TO BRING YOUR OWN PEN
5. PROTECTIVE GEAR
6. SAFE DISTANCING AT POLLING STATIONS
7. MORE POLLING STATIONS
8. CHECK FOR QUEUES
9. IF YOU ARE SICK
10. IF YOU ARE ON STAY-HOME NOTICE (SHN) AT A DESIGNATED FACILITY
11. IF YOU ARE UNDER A QUARANTINE ORDER, SERVING A SHN AT HOME OR HAVE A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE FOR ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
Read the full article on The Straits Times

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