Following reports of Singapore entering recession after the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) plummeted 12.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter, secretary-general of the Reform Party (RP) Kenneth Jeyaretnam took to his Facebook earlier today (14 July) to question the timing of such news being released days after the General Election.
Citing an article – titled “Singapore in technical recession after GDP shrinks 41.2% in Q2 from preceding quarter due to COVID-19” – by Channel NewsAsia in his post, Mr Jeyaretnam claimed that the state media is attempting to downplay this huge drop by calling it a “technical recession”.
He noted that the situation Singapore is in right now “is worse than during the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s”.
Given that such a major news made the headlines days after Singapore’s 13th General Election – which took place last Friday (10 July) – Mr Jeyaretnam wondered if former Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had decided to delay the release of Singapore’s recession figures to influence the outcome of the election.
“No wonder PM Lee was in a hurry to get the election out of the way before this figure came out. He will have had advance warning. Did he delay the release to influence the outcome of the election?” he wrote.
Meanwhile, under the comment section of Mr Jeyaretnam’s post, Facebook user Lynda Ethan opined that the People’s Action Party (PAP) would have stood to gain more votes should the recession figures surfaced earlier.
When Mr Jeyaretnam himself replied to the comment, asking why did Ms Lynda think that way, the response he got in return was because many Singaporeans would have rushed to vote for the PAP “out of fear”.