It has been taken as a given that the general election in Singapore is looming.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has strongly hinted that it is imminent while the mainstream media has indicated that the general election could be held in early July. Yet, as the mainstream media covers the general election, it appears never to have questioned the giant elephant in the room — when exactly is the general election going to be? And to ask whether the election be should called now.
For example, the Straits Times has been increasing its coverage on election related news without seeming to care when the election is going to be held. For instance, it has reported on the Reform Party’s new candidates which could lead to a three cornered fight in West Coast GRC and also on how social gatherings of up to five people would be allowed in phase two of the country’s reopening, indicating that political parties would be able to conduct walkabouts in the run-up to the upcoming general election in small groups without seeing the need to ever question the Government on setting a date.
Then you have Channel News Asia (CNA) unveiling potential new PAP candidates and COVID-19 safety measures for polling day without comment on the irony of reporting on an upcoming general election without a date.
The clearest example however could well be Temasek owned Mediacorp committing to a broadcast of a series of speeches by cabinet ministers at prime time slots in the wake of an imminent but hitherto undated general election!
Ostensibly, these speeches are supposed to be about COVID-19 and not electioneering but looking at the generic content which do not seem urgent enough to warrant a televised broadcast and the timing of the broadcasts, it may be possible that these speeches are election campaigning hiding behind the mask of COVID-19.
In other words, there have been reports on every aspect of the general election from logistics to candidates except the date!
It seems so odd to have so much coverage on the general election when we still don’t know when it is going to be held and yet the mainstream media who is supposed to be the provider of information to us, the general public has apparently not even thought to question the government in any of its publications?
After all, isn’t that the most crucial piece of information? Seems ironical for reports of a general election to gain momentum when no one seems to know for sure when it will be held. Should the mainstream media not be accountable to its readers and pressure the Government to announce a date?
Yet, it would appear that the mainstream media has gone along with the Government’s stance of not announcing a date despite making obvious preparations for a general election.
Also note that Singapore has not rid itself of COVID-19 as like countries such as Taiwan and New Zealand, yet it is celebrating like it has won.