MP accuses people of circulating online falsehood over ‘PAP’ chocolates he distributed

Mr Melvin Yong, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, posted a Facebook post on Sunday evening, accusing of falsehoods being circulated on social media that the chocolates given out by activists from People Action Party were expired and noted that the claim was untrue as the date shown on the packaging clearly shows that the chocolates only expires in 2020 instead of the alleged 2011 date.

Mr Yong had earlier paid a “Father’s Day” visit this morning (16 June) to Pek Kio Market at Cambridge Rd, near Little India.

Photos of his visit were shared on his Facebook page, where the People’s Action Party MP wished “all fathers and fathers-to-be a very Happy Father’s Day!”

Apparently, while visiting Pek Kio Market this morning, he was distributing chocolate bars to residents, with the PAP logo and his name pasted on top of the chocolate bar wrappers.

Soon, pictures of the distributed chocolate bars began to appear on social media, with people asking if the chocolate bar shown has been expired.

After receiving notification of the messages, TOC wrote to Mr Yong at 5pm to ask if he could provide a response to the claim that is being circulated. However, no response has been provided by Mr Yong.

At 8pm, Mr Yong posted a message on his Facebook page saying that someone has deliberately circulated falsehood online.

“It has come to my attention that someone has deliberately circulated a falsehood following our Father’s Day walkabout this morning,” Yong said. “The social media post and Whatsapp message falsely allege that the chocolate given out by our PAP activists at Pek Kio Market had expired in January 2011.”

“The photo that accompanied the false claim clearly shows that the expiry date on the chocolate wrapper is 9 January 2020. The wrapper also indicates that the format for the BEST BEFORE date is ‘DD/MM/YY’ (e.g. 09/01/20),” he added.

“Thanks to all our volunteers who bought the chocolates, and helped in the distribution this morning.”

That is to say, the picture in question showed that the year of the expiry date should be interpreted in ‘YY’ format (i.e, ’20’) rather than in ‘YYYY’ format (i.e, not ‘2011’). The number ’11’ following ’20’ behind was probably part of some production numbers.

However, it still begs the question why the need to put the PAP logo and the MP’s name, “Melvin Yong”, onto the chocolate to give out to the residents for Father’s Day celebration?

Is Mr Yong starting his campaign for the General Election already?

Mr Yong was an Assistant Commissioner of Police with the Singapore Police Force (SPF). He joined the SPF in 1995 and “retired” in August 2015 so that he could contest in September’s General Election 2015 as a PAP candidate. He became an MP through contesting in a GRC.

During his tenure in SPF, he held various key appointments, including Deputy Director (Planning & Organisation), Director (Administration & Finance), Commander of Clementi Police Division, Deputy Director (Operations) and Director (Public Affairs). He was also the Vice Chairman of the Police Sports Association and Vice Chairman of the POLWEL Cooperative Society.