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Are the PAP’s mini posters in Nee Soon GRC allowed?

A TOC reader sent us this message:

"According to this article it is illegal to paste mini election posters, and it doesn't matter who does it as the law states no one other than the candidates or his/her election agent can put up campaign posters.

However in Nee Soon GRC where I live such posters have been put up in public places such as the area near the Sheng Siong and NTUC supermarkets opposite Khatib MRT, Blk 605 and Blk 645 Yishun St 61 coffee shops. The number of posters stuck in these places is clearly in blatant disregard of elections regulations.

Attached are some pictures of the offending posters."

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The reader who sent us the photos said, as far as he could see, the posters do not have the required official stamp of the Elections Department behind them.

One of our volunteers went to Nee Soon GRC and took this video of the posters in the constituency:

Under the regulations, there is a set number of posters and banners that a contesting candidate or group of candidates can put up, and an Elections Department stamp must be on the back of the posters.

Also the rules state that posters cannot be put up at stalls within  hawker centres, food centres or markets.

TOC has written in to the Elections Department for their response on the matter.

A few days ago, one of the PAP candidates for Nee Soon GRC, Er Lee Bee Wah, was found to be on a stage for the Lunar 7th Month festival. TOC was later told by the police that they are looking into reports on the activities of election candidates at Seventh Month Festival events. Police interviews with several Seventh Month Festival event organisers are on-going.

Lee Bee Wah on stage
Lee Bee Wah on stage

The Elections Department's regulations on Posters and Banners

The display of posters and banners advertising for a candidate or group of candidates during the campaign period must comply with the conditions listed in the Returning Officer’s permit for such display of posters and banners.

At the end of nomination proceedings, the Returning Officer will issue to the candidate or his election agent a permit authorising the display of posters and banners in public places within the constituency where the candidate is contesting in. The permit will specify the maximum number of posters and banners allowed to be displayed in public places within the constituency (other than election rally sites) and may contain certain conditions restricting the place at and manner in which the posters and banners may be displayed.

No person shall display or cause to be displayed in any public place election posters and banners without authorisation by the Returning Officer.

Posters and banners must be removed after polling day and that the failure to do so is an offence. Candidates or their election agents have to ensure that all of their posters and banners are taken down within the specified period stated in the Returning Officer permit and properly disposed of after the elections.

Maximum number of posters and banners allowed

The maximum number of posters and banners allowed is:

  • 1 poster to every 50 electors in the register (rounded to nearest 100), subject to minimum of:
    • 500 per SMC,
    • 2,000 per 4-MP GRC,
    • 2,500 per 5-MP GRC, or
    • 3,000 per 6-MP GRC.
  • 1 banner to every 5,000 electors in the register (rounded to nearest whole number), subject to minimum of:
    • 5 per SMC,
    • 20 per 4-MP GRC,
    • 25 per 5-MP GRC, or
    • 30 per 6-MP GRC.

Size and characteristics of authorised posters and banners

A copy of each of the posters and banners must be lodged with the Returning Officer before they are displayed.

All posters and banners displayed must bear the official stamp issued by the Returning Officer.

Posters displayed in GRCs must not exceed 1.75 metres by 1.2 metres while those displayed in SMCs must not exceed 85 centimetres by 60 centimetres. All banners must not exceed 9 metres by 1.2 metres.

These dimensions do not apply in the case of posters and banners displayed at election rally sites.

Where and how posters and banners may be displayed

In general, campaign posters (mounted on plywood or cardboard) and banners may be hung on street lamp posts and trees along public roads. Do not nail or paste posters and banners onto any surface. Do not inscribe election advertising on any road, footpath, building, vehicle, vessel or hoarding.

The display of posters and banners must not obscure the view of other posters and banners already displayed.

At no time are posters and banners allowed to be displayed within a radius of 50 metres from a polling station.

Candidates and their agents should avoid displaying, posters and banners for the purposes of election campaigning at/on any of the following objects and structures or things:

Places where campaign posters and banners are prohibited

  • Bus shelter
  • Vehicular Bridges
  • Railings
  • Central median dividers
  • Traffic islands
  • Expressways
  • Traffic sign boards
  • Traffic Bollards
  • ERP gantry
  • Public infrastructure and their ancillary structures (e.g., entrance & exit structures to Rapid Transit System stations and underpasses, MRT viaduct columns, and kiosks)
  • The vicinity of the boundary of airports and airbases
  • Carpark sign poles
  • Property belonging to Public Utilities Board (PUB)
  • Stalls within a hawker centre, food centre or market
  • Premises within any Community Centre/Club and Resident Centres
  • Water catchment areas, public parks and open spaces, nature reserves, water bodies, along coastlines and on vacant land
  • Premises within any Ministry of Education (MOE) property (e.g. school fences)
  • Government owned buildings

Disclaimer: The prohibited list is non-exhaustive and includes mainly public properties. Candidates and election agents are advised to obtain owner’s consent for places (property owned by private establishments) not listed here.