Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) asked in a Facebook video, if it is wise to hold a General Election (GE) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former People’s Action Party Member of Parliament who is also a doctor with fifty years of experience, said that more than 2.6 million voters will be exposed to the virus because voting is compulsory and everyone will need to go to the polling stations to cast their votes.
“During the campaign period, there will be rallies and many large group activities being held, is this a risk we want to take?” said Dr Tan.
Dr Tan went on to say that there is a potential mass exposure to the virus and so holding a GE at this time, should not be considered.
“We should put politics aside, take care of our people’s health and welfare first” urged Dr Tan.
He also noted that other countries such as United States and United Kingdom with pending elections have already postponed theirs.
He proposed that there are three options for Singapore to take.
1. Call the General Election only at such a time when COVID-19 is no longer a crisis.
2. Call the General Election at the end of the term which is April 2021.
3. If the COVID-19 crisis is still unresolved, the President can exercise her soft power to form a caretaker government consisting of some of the current MPs and subsequently call for fresh elections when the COVID-19 crisis is resolved.
The sudden but long-awaited announcement of the boundaries revision by the Election Boundaries Review Committee after close to eight months of reviewing, signifies that the parliament would likely be dissolved within one or two months based on the past standards of the Singapore government.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has hinted in a Facebook post on Saturday evening that election will be held early so as to “elect a new government with a fresh mandate” and that the government “will take all the precautions necessary, so that parties can campaign effectively, and people can vote safely.”
It has been pushed by mainstream media that it is possible for an election to be called soon and the earliest polling date can be as early as 18 April, which will be just before the fasting month.