A People’s Action Party (PAP) Aljunied group representation constituency (GRC) candidate issued a clarification on Wednesday (1 July) regarding allegations on “luring people to vote by providing them” with free meals from fast food chain Texas Chicken.
Shamsul Kamar in a Facebook post yesterday said that the allegations pertained to a photo of a leaflet on a food distribution event originally slated to be held this Saturday.
“It is unfortunate that there were allegations by netizens that I am only helping the Malay community and that I am luring people to vote by providing them with free food.
“I would like to state that these allegations are untrue,” he said.
Mr Shamsul highlighted that PAP has “regularly worked with various stakeholders, private companies and Non-Profit Organisations to assist all residents of Kaki Bukit regardless of race, language or religion” over the course of the past five years.
“On certain occasions, these organisations have specific groups of people they would like to help. For example, some may want to focus on helping the elderly, low-income families or single mothers. We welcome all the help we can get when it comes to our residents,” he added.
Noting that the event was planned even before this coming general election was announced, Mr Shamsul said that in this particular instance, “the organisation wanted to focus on the lower-income, Malay-Muslim families”.
“Our community leaders from the Malay Activity Executive Committee (MAEC) believed that this is a good initiative to help those in need,” he said.
Mr Shamsul said that many events have been postponed after the announcement of GE 2020 such as “the North East CDC Jobs Fair, Kaki Bukit Covid-19 Care Voucher distribution and hot meals distribution where I would usually be involved”.
“Similarly, I have already instructed the committee to postpone the distribution to after the General Elections. Since yesterday, the committee members have already started calling the affected residents on the postponement.
“I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to the residents affected by this decision,” he said.
Mr Shamsul’s statement was made following a viral post by a Facebook page called “Say NO to PAP” yesterday, in which the page wrote that the votes of Aljunied GRC residents “cost only 2 pieces of Texas Fried Chicken to buy over”.
“Whose money is he spending to bribe you? Otherwise what do they get in return for the political sponsorship? What kind of a teacher is he who brings such education to your children? Shamsul so shameful,” the page added.
The leaflet in question, dated 27 June, states the following (translation ours):
TEXAS CHICKEN FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT
May God’s peace and blessings be upon you.
Sir / Madam,
You are invited to receive 1 meal set from Texas Chicken – “2 Piece Meal”. This event is sponsored by TEXAS CHICKEN and we request your presence as stated below:
Date: Saturday, 4 July 2020
Time: 11.30 am to 12.00 pm
Venue: Blk 527, Bedok North St 3
Terms & Conditions:
- Only those who receive this letter must attend.
- Limited to 1 set per family.
- Please bring this letter along with your NRIC to collect the free meal.
I hope that you will be able to spend some time to attend this event.
I am honoured to meet you, if the opportunity presents itself.
TOC sent Mr Shamsul a query on the matter the same morning the “Say NO to PAP” post was put up.
However, our message was not opened, and Mr Shamsul issued his statement later in the afternoon.