The furore over Ms Tin Pei Ling’s controversial candidacy has boiled over in the form of an online petition calling for Ms Tin to be fielded in a single-member constituency (SMC). Started by one Mr Ti Kiang Heng on 4 April, the petition has started gathering traction with a few hundred signatories.
Mr Ti notes in his petition covering letter that the purpose of the petition is to show “that we care about Singapore and the quality of the Members of Parliament (MP) who represent Singaporeans.” He also links the problem with the inequitable nature of the GRC system:
“Singaporeans are genuinely concerned about undeserving candidates being inducted into parliament, not on their own merit, but rather on the back of established MPs of the ruling party in some Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).”
In recent weeks, Ms Tin Pei Ling’s candidacy has come to dominate both the online and mainstream news cycle.
The New Paper had a front page article listing a string of criticism of her perceived lack of substance. A grassroots leader, in a Today newspaper report, openly questioned whether she could connect with residents, and letters have been published in the traditionally pro-government Straits Times Forum questioning whether the PAP made the right choice in fielding her.
While initial attacks which focused on Ms Tin’s designer handbags were easy to dismiss, concerns about Ms Tin’s lack of substance in media interviews and a speech she gave to a PAP conference in 2007 have started to come into focus. The latest petition crystallizes the question in voters’ minds: can the PAP’s youngest candidate hold her own?
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