People’s Action Party (PAP) has announced that it will suspend its usual ground engagements such as market visits and home visits, and Meet-the-People Sessions.
This was announced on the party’s Facebook page on Monday evening.
While it did not mention any reason for this announcement, it is likely to be in regards to the outpour of criticism over the walkabout conducted by Dr Chia Shi Lu, Member of Parliament of Tanjong Pagar GRC at the Alexander Village Food Centre on Sunday (12 April).
Dr Chia who is also chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health
After the reviewed Electoral Boundaries were announced in March, many speculated about when the upcoming General Election would be as the election would typical be held within one or two months of the announcement.
The speculation of an election held in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic was supported by the heightened activities by the PAP in their outreach. Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong could be seen walking the grounds at his constituency on 22 March this year, greeting his residents at the food centre and many other PAP candidates were also revealed in different constituencies over the past weeks.
But PAP’s walkabouts died down following the introduction of the circuit breaker measures to address the spikes in new local cases of COVID-19 infection.
No warnings for offenders of circuit breaker measures
It was earlier reported that Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli announced that those caught breaking circuit breaker measures will all be fined S$300 instead of getting a written warning.
“Enforcement Officers reported that there are still too many people not taking the circuit breaker measures seriously … stiffer penalties are clearly needed,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (11 April).
“From tomorrow, we will no longer issue written warnings. Any offender encountered by our Enforcement Officers will be asked for particulars immediately.”
A day later, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that it has revoked the work pass of a work pass holder for breaching the circuit breaker measures and has also banned the person permanently from working in Singapore.
According to MOM, its investigations revealed that the person who is from an essential firm continued to loiter at various places for an extended period of time before returning to his place of residence.
“This is a blatant breach of circuit breaker measures”, said MOM.
Given that political campaigning is not a reason to be out of one’s residence, it is unsure if Dr Chia and Col Chua will be fined $300 for breaching circuit-breaker and social-distancing measures as what Minister Masagos said.