Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Central Executive Committee Michael Chua on Saturday (27 June) voiced concerns over the E-rally process that requires the candidates from political parties to submit their script to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) within 48 hours beforehand, adding that the Party finds it “disturbing”.
The Elections Department (ELD) had earlier stated in its preliminary campaigning guidelines that there will be no physical rallies in this coming General Election (GE), but more airtime will be given to political parties and candidates.
Candidates can also opt to hold E-rally live streams as up to 10 live streaming venues will be provided each day for online rallies from 1 July to 8 July, at these timings – 7am to 10am, 12 noon to 3pm, and 7pm to 10pm.
Mr Chua, who was speaking to members of the media during his walkabout at Holland Village – which is situated in Tanjong Pagar– yesterday, stated that the IMDA has held a briefing to explain about the E-rally procedural steps.
“We had the IMDA briefing yesterday and it was made clear on what is the procedural steps required to submit our script beforehand for the E-rally,” he said.
Mr Chua noted that the candidates have to prepare their script in multiple copies and submit it to the IMDA in 48 hours before the E-rally begins, adding that the script also needs to be submitted to the Mediacorp studio for the subtitles.
“It is rather disconcerting to us, because traditionally in a live rally, the speaker, the candidate will present their ideas directly to the voters and residents,” said the PSP’s candidate for Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
The Party opined that the process of submitting the script to IMDA and Mediacorp beforehand could lead to the script being exposed to other people.
“In this instance, because of the mechanism of the E-rally, we have to submit everything ahead of time, potentially, other people are also looking at whatever we submit,” he said.
Following that, Mr Chua asked about the consequences of having other people’s foreknowledge of the candidates’ script as it is “disturbing for the Party”.
“With this mechanism, there is a concern. We just concerned that whatever we prepare have to be submitted within 48 hours deadline,” he remarked.