Alternative means of campaigning — such as daily live debates — should be used in the nine days leading up to the general election if the ruling People’s Action Party desires a snap election, said People’s Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng.
In a recent interview with TOC, Mr Goh said that PPP “would challenge the PM to have a live debate” regarding national policies during the campaigning period.
“Two hours of live debate every day in the nine days of campaigning which involves all of the opposition parties and the PAP’s 4G leaders on all the different policies,” he said.
Mr Goh, however, also reiterated the party’s stance that holding an election at this point of the COVID-19 outbreak is “irresponsible” both socially and politically on the Government’s part.
“Everybody is focusing on the virus, and we do not feel that it is the right time to call for an election,” he said.
Predicting that the spike of COVID-19 will take “an exponential path”, Mr Goh said that elections will create situations where people will inevitably congregate — whether at a rally, or during campaigning where candidates sometimes shake hands with the populace, or even at the voting booth on Election Day.
“We cannot put voters’ lives at stake,” he stressed.
Politically, said Mr Goh, holding a GE during the COVID-19 crisis will curb freedom of choice for the electorate.
“You cannot have freedom of choice without full knowledge of what we are voting for – who are the candidates, what they stand for, what the party stands for,” he said.
Touching on the timing of the release of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC)’s report last Fri (13 Mar), Mr Goh said that the report’s release was “belated”.
Further, he said that “even after spending over half a year” on the report, the Committee “did not give justification for any changes”, which he found “quite glaring”.
“It should be renamed Electoral Gerrymandering Committee, you know?” said Mr Goh.
Commenting on when he predicts the next GE will be held before the deadline in Apr next year, Mr Goh said: “Whether it is within one month or six months, I do not think it will drag until one year.”