The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on Monday said it was “shocking” that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong “chose not to announce the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) when he appointed it two months ago.”
Mr Lee made the disclosure on Monday’s sitting of Parliament.
He also instructed the committee, chaired by the secretary to the Prime Minister, to reduce the average size of the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) to 5, and to have at least 12 single-member constituencies (SMCs).
“As per past practice, the Committee is chaired by the Secretary to Prime Minister. It is now in the midst of its deliberations and will make its recommendations to me when it is ready,” Mr Lee told Parliament.
He was responding to questions from Mr Arthur Fong (PAP) and Mr Yee Jenn Jong (WP) who also asked when the committee’s report is expected to be published, and how much time will elapse between the report’s publication and the calling of an election.
The next General Election must be called by January 2017.
In its response to the news, the SDP said that “such a non-transparent approach to elections continues to tilt the playing field heavily in the PAP’s favour.”
“Add to this the secretive way the constituencies are formulated and we have the perfect example of an undemocratic ruling party out to ensure victory at all cost and with little regard for the views of the people,” the opposition party said.
It called on the Government “to ensure that at least two months are given from the time of the announcement of the new boundaries to the dissolution of Parliament; and that there should also be ample time of at least three weeks for official campaigning which is in keeping with international democratic norms.
It charged the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), of which Mr Lee is its secretary-general, of continuing to use “its tactic of announcing the boundaries at the last possible moment and give the least amount of time for official campaigning.”
“This will benefit the PAP at the expense of Singaporeans for the results will not be a true reflection of the will of the people,” the SDP said. “In the long-run, it will be Singapore that suffers.”