People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC Chan Chun Sing took to his Facebook on Sunday (5 July) in response to Progress Singapore Party (PSP) secretary-general Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s call for a live debate on COVID-19 crisis management.
In his Facebook post, Mr Chan, who is the former Trade and Industry Minister, said that he had read the media reports about the live debate challenge issued by Dr Tan and Dr Paul Tambyah on the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also read that Dr Tan declined to share what plans he intends to debate on when he was further queried by the media,” he added.
Mr Chan then tried to deflect the challenge by suggesting Dr Tan and Dr Tambyah to present their plans to the voters instead of engaging in a televised debate.
He wrote, “Why not present their plans to the voters now on how they intend to help Singapore and Singaporeans get through this most serious health and economic crisis in decades?
“Am sure voters will want to know before polling day to make a decision.”
Mr Chan made a remark earlier on Saturday (4 July), noting that the proposals or suggestions on how to get through the pandemic were “glaringly missing” in the manifestos of alternatives parties.
“I went through in detail the manifestos of the various parties and the many things that have been said… There is one part glaringly missing: How are we going to get through this crisis,” said Mr Chan, adding that every party, including the PAP, must have the plans to share with the voters on how to get through this situation as the election is “probably conducted in the most challenging time in our history”.
In response to this, Dr Tan has invited Mr Chan to engage in a televised debate on the competency of the alternative parties in handling the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking to the media during a walkabout in Nee Soon GRC on Sunday, Dr Tan noted that he is prepared to go live on TV alongside Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Dr Paul Tambyah to debate with Mr Chan – and also former Health Minister Gan Kim Yong – to see whether the alternative parties are as good or perhaps better than the PAP in dealing with the COVID-19 situation.
“We will challenge it. So I think we are prepared, Paul and I, we are prepared to go on TV and debate on this. So if he’s prepared, Chan Chun Sing can bring the health minister… and we will debate this thing out, see whether the opposition is as good or if not even better than the way they managed COVID-19,” Dr Tan asserted.