Members of the public have observed that party flags of the People's Action Party (PAP) are being displayed around Singapore. The question some are asking is whether such display of party flags constitute a contravention of the Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA).
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ACT
(CHAPTER 218, SECTIONS 78, 78A AND 102)
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS (ELECTION ADVERTISING) REGULATIONS
Permits for display of posters and banners
10. —(1) As soon as possible after nomination proceedings have closed on nomination day, the Returning Officer shall issue to every candidate or group of candidates, or to each candidate’s election agent, a permit substantially in the form set out in the Schedule authorising the display of posters and banners in any public place in the electoral division in which the candidate or (as the case may be) group of candidates seeks election.
2. In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires —
“banner” means any election advertising that is a flag, bunting, ensign or standard;
“campaign period” , in relation to an election, means the period —
(a) beginning with the closure of the place of nomination on nomination day after the election is adjourned under section 34(1)(a) or 34A(1)(a), as the case may be, of the Act to enable a poll to be taken in accordance with the Act; and
(b) ending with the start of the eve of polling day of that election;
Any person who commits an offence under such regulations shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months and every offence under such regulations shall be an arrestable offence within the meaning of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (Act 15 of 2010).
Ms Rachel Zeng, a Singaporean, wrote to the Elections Department about this. The Department replied:
Dear Ms. Zeng,
Thank you for your email to the Elections Department.
The Parliamentary Elections Act governs the display of posters and banners during the campaign period. The campaign period is defined as the period beginning with the close of the nomination proceedings and ending with the start of the eve of polling day. Once the campaign period starts, the display of posters and banners must be subject to a permit that is issued by the Returning Officer.
As the campaign period has not commenced, the rules relating to the display of posters and banners under the Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations do not apply at this time.
The display of poster and banners outside of the campaign period is governed by other legislation.
Teo Shu Huei (Ms)
Prime Minister’s Office
Ms Zeng has written to the Department again to seek further clarification. You can read the exchange of letters on Ms Zeng's blog here.
Here are some pictures we have collated from various blogs (including Kent Ridge Common, Singapore Election 2011, thinkformesingapore) and some which were sent to TOC.