Victor Lye Thiam Fatt, People’s Action Party (PAP) Candidate candidate for the Aljunied GRC in the General Election 2015 and grassroots leader for Aljunied GRC, has acknowledged that his volunteers put up a banner to cover up another banner from the Workers’ Party and apologised for the action.
Mr Lye had earlier published a Facebook post about him not being paid to do community work in the constituency and quoted a resident saying that the opposition politicians have it better for them as their best losers are given a seat in Parliament with salary while Mr Lye and his team who were the best losers in GE2015, did not.
Mr Lye is one of the appointed grassroots advisors to the Bedok Reservor-Punggol Grassroots Organisation despite not being the elected Member of Parliament of the constituency.
The post spurred a member of public, Ong Yu Shan to ask Mr Lye, “Didn’t you tell resident you love to use underhand tactics?!? Passed by and saw your lovely face banner covered Aljunied banner @ WP constituency.” and posted a photo of Mr Lye’s banner blocking another banner which was purportedly taken recently at the Aljunied GRC.
Mr Lye promptly responded to Ong’s post by acknowledging that the banner should not have been placed in the said manner and asked his volunteers to rectify.
The banner which was from Mr Lye’s team is meant to inform the residents of the activities organised by the Bedok Reservor-Punggol Grassroots Organisation; activities such as porridge distribution, prayers, a community fair and groceries distribution during the Hari Raya period.
As for the banner being blocked, it can be seen from the color and viewable details that it is a banner put up by the Aljunied Town Council managed by Workers’ Party, promoting a festive event organised by the Aljunied constituency which is scheduled to be held on this coming 30 June.
This is not the first time that Mr Lye’s volunteers are guilty of such uncalled for behaviour. Shortly before the elections, the PAP Aljunied team distributed political flyers in the middle of the night to residents, warning them about the alleged mismanagement by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council. And from Mr Lye’s Facebook posting, he would have been part of the team that went around distributing the flyers.
Regarding the distribution of leaflets, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) issued to the media on 19 March 2015:
“In consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the police report made on the distribution of flyers at Aljunied Group Representation Constituency, it has been determined that there is no offence disclosed. The distribution of flyers in itself is not an offence in Singapore.”
Note that at the point of the flyers being distributed in March 2015, the parliament has yet been dissolved and the Prime Minister has yet to call for the General Election, therefore it cannot be said to be political campaigning during the election period.
Now compare that with the case in 2006, where members of the Singapore Democratic Party were charged for illegal assembly while distributing flyers “in the vicinity of Raffles City Shopping Centre, North Bridge Road”. They were accused of participating in “an assembly intended to demonstrate opposition to the actions of the Government” without a police permit.
The police licensing officer during the trial, testified that distributing flyers for a commercial cause did not require a permit whereas one was needed if the cause was political.
Given the SPF’s reply, it can be safely assumed that the PAP activists did not apply for a permit for their political activity but yet not charged for illegal assembly as in SDP’s case.
With such double standards in place, no wonder such uncouth behaviours by the PAP grassroots continue till today.