SDP’s Bryan Lim questions the merits of holding an election in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) member, Bryan Lim Boon Heng took to Facebook yesterday (19 March) to respond to a Straits Times (ST) article titled “The merits of holding a GE during an outbreak” which was published online earlier today (20 March).

In that opinion piece, the editor of Chinese Media Group’s NewsHub Han Yong May said, “The present moment, seemingly fraught with danger, might also present the best opportunity for an election.”

Referring to this, Mr Lim wrote on his Facebook, “13,12,14,17,23,47 and 32. No, these are not the winning Toto numbers. These are the daily number of positive Covid-19 cases reported since electoral boundaries were announced.

“But look at what I saw online before we kickstarted our house visits tonight. This is the headline which you will see in one of the mainstream print media tomorrow (see attached screenshot).”

Mr Lim then questioned ST’s decision to publish such an article, describing it as “shocking”. 

He said “Shocking, isn’t it? Which honorable media in the world will trumpet about the merits of holding an election in an outbreak, other than one which only advocates & answers to the egotistical course of its political masters?”.

Concerns that the government might decide to call for elections during this outbreak was raised after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) released its report of the revised boundaries last week. Historically, elections are called within months of the report’s release.

Mr Lim said in his post, “No amount of merits can outweigh the one insurmountable demerit- & that is exposing the public to the risk of cross infection.”

Despite the sharp spike in cases, it seems that the PAP is still hanging on to the rhetoric that polls should be called soon,” he added. 

Mr Lim is echoing the sentiments of many other opposition politicians who have come forward to voice their concerns over the government hinting that the elections would be held soon despite the outbreak and describing it as ‘irresponsible’ to not rule out elections for now.

The SDP member went on to urge to Singaporeans to “sit up & take notice this time round”.

He said, “You may have chosen to turn a blind eye or stay ignorant on the issues of the GST hike, 10 million population & non-return of your CPF savings in full during the current pandemic.”

“But you cannot possibly stay oblivious when the PAP seems bent on steamrolling ahead with a snap election to gratify its political thirst- at the very expense of your personal health.”

Mr Lim concluded, “Election or no election, you need to send a clear & dignified message to the PAP that your health is in your hands. Not theirs to play a fool with- like what they have done to your cost of living, jobs & retirement savings.”

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