Andrew Loh /
The following is an excerpt from Mr Goh Meng Seng’s blog, Singapore Alternatives. In his latest post, Mr Goh, who is also the secretary general of the National Solidarity Party, weighs in on the controversy surrounding it’s star candidate, Ms Nicole Seah. Ms Seah had solicited for donations to defray the costs of mounting her election campaign. Her usage of her personal bank account for this purpose is at the centre of the controversy.
Here’s an excerpt from Mr Goh’s blog on the matter:
“Under the Political Donation Act, it is LEGAL for candidates to solicit donations under their names. Thus what Nicole has done is legal….
[I] I have full confidence in Nicole and her Marine Parade Team in managing public funding properly. The stakeholders who have contributed money to their funds have the right to know how the funds have been utilized. This is a matter of transparency. This can be done by sending them the details via emails.
However, I think it is totally inappropriate for the members of public to insinuate corrupt practices, intent or misconduct with regards to this issue. It would be unfair to Nicole and her team to suggest that because they have acted within the legal limits. Unless there is any proof of misappropriation of funds, I think such slander is totally unwarranted. I hope the members of public should refrain from making such insinuations.”
You can read Mr Goh's full blog post here: Singapore Alternatives.
UPDATE: 23 May, 2011:
NATIONAL SOLIDARITY PARTY STATEMENT DATED 23 May 2011
We refer to Nicole Seah’s recent online appeal for donations to a bank account set up in her personal name.
The appeals for donations are made by the Candidates to defray the actual campaign costs that the Party will not pay for. The Candidates have to pay for these themselves. The Parlimentary Elections Act requires each Candidate and his Election Agent to submit a return and declaration of his election expenses. By law, the Candidate must list all the expenses incurred for the election, and every donation accepted by the Election Agent or by the Candidate for the purpose of expenses incurred in respect of the election. This return and declaration must be submitted by each Candidate, not the Party, within 31 days of 9 May 2011. Given the urgency of preparing and submitting the returns before 9 June 2011, the Candidates consider it more practical to collect and account for donations at the Candidate level. Each Candidate making this appeal has set up a separate bank account to receive donations.
The public can be assured that the law requires Candidates to make full declarations of all campaign expenses incurred and all donations received, to the Returning Officer for public record and inspection.