Earlier this week, Mr Lim Tean, Founding Leader of People’s Voice Party in an interview with The Online Citizen took on several questions on the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report and the probability of an election during COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Lim said that it is unfortunate that the EBRC has chosen to release its report now during the COVID-19 pandemic when it could have done so well before or by the end of last year.
“I think it is very unfortunate. As you know, we are in the midst of the biggest crisis the nation has faced for the last 50 years or certainly since Independence. This report the timing, the release is timed so that elections would be called very soon,” he said.
He added, “We have never known in the history of Singapore for the PAP to dwell for a very long time after the release of the report before the elections are called”.
His reasoning to this is because “they do not want the opposition to walk the ground or to push out their messages”.
Mr Lim criticised the EBRC that apart for the relatively minor changes, the EBRC report could have been well released before the end of last year.
Making comparisons as to how amendments to boundaries are made in England, Mr Lim adds that it is disappointing that there is hardly any explanation for the amendments that were made to the boundaries.
“There is then a period of reflection for the community to decide whether the boundary changes have been fair. And if people think that it has not been fair they are at liberty to go to court to challenge the decision by way of judiciary view. Not a system we have here,” he said.
Mr Lim disapproves for a GE amidst the COVID-19 outbreak
Separately, Mr Lim also highlighted in the interview that it would be totally irresponsible for the government to call for a general election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no reason to call for an election now when there is still a full year till April 2021 where election must be held, he added.
He noted, “The government’s efforts, all our attention and resources should be concentrated on protecting the public health, safety of our people.”
When asked whether election rallies will be cancelled, Mr Lim said, “I have no doubt that the calling of elections at this time is also a deliberate tactic, or would be a deliberate tactic by the PAP to ensure no mass rallies can be held because they have just passed a regulation to say that there cannot be a gathering of 250 people. And so, democracy at the end of the day, is the big loser.”
Mr Lim treats this as an abuse of the system just like how Singaporeans were not given a chance to vote for a president.
“I would say that is total rubbish”, said Mr Lim in response to the claim by the Prime Minister that the Singapore government needs a fresh mandate to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
He pointed out that the ruling party, which was elected in 2015, still can govern the country till Jan 2021 and asked what has the COVID-19 done to diminish the government’s mandate to run the country.
On Saturday (14 March), Mr Lim shared a Facebook post entitled “Punish The PAP If They Attempt To Curtail Democracy! #kickthemout”. Mr Lim’s post demonstrates his strong views against PM Lee’s attempts to advocate for an election during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the ending note of his Facebook post, he appeals to Singaporeans to punish the PAP at the polls should a snap election be called, which he relates it to the curtailment of democracy and the endangerment of public health.