Upon the confirmation of General Election (GE) candidates yesterday (30 June), Mediacorp had invited four political parties, namely the People’s Action Party (PAP), Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Workers’ Party (WP), for a debate that will broadcast this evening, according to CNA.
The chief of Peoples Voice (PV), Lim Tean, found out earlier today (1 Jul) that his party had been excluded from the debate, despite being a legitimate contesting party at Jalan Besar GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Mountbatten SMC.
Apparently, Mediacorp only invited the political parties fielding the most candidates for GE, and one candidate from each party will be sent to the debate.
Mr Lim took this issue to the party’s Facebook page, expressing his thoughts on being excluded.
“It [the debate] has excluded PV even though we fielded 10 [candidates] – one behind the SDP. We could have fielded 30 if we wanted to. But we seeded a lot of ground to parties like the PSP, we even gave up Punggol West to WP. All in the spirit of opposition unity, so as to avoid unnecessary three-corner fights.”
In the video, he mentioned that if his party had known about the rules of this debate, they would have contested in many more constituencies. He also understood that leaving out “worthy candidates” in the election had “upset a lot of people”.
Mr Lim pledged that in the next GE, PV will not “repeat the same way” and they would ensure that they will get involved in that debate.
“Over the last few years, how many times have I challenged the PAP ministers to debates. None of them have had the courage to accept my challenge. My most recent challenge was made only a few days before the GE was issued.”
Seeing how other alternative parties were invited, the PV chief believed that the establishment wanted to invite parties that do not deem to be a “threat”. This would result in the voice of a common Singaporean going unheard.
“They want nice, moderate discussions without getting to the heart of real issues which troubles Singaporeans. They want to exclude the party that represents the common man in Singapore, which is the Peoples Voice.”
Despite the unfair treatment given to PV, Mr Lim said the party decided to create its own debate by responding and reacting to the recorded debate that will be involving the four parties.
“We want to show up in this whole electoral facade that the establishment is creating. It is not real democracy here when you are excluding worthy opponents because the voice of the common person must be heard. And we will ensure that it is heard.”