In a media release earlier today (16 July), Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the General Election (GE) with a particular focus on issues such as the use of “tendered ballot slips” which apparently were not counted in GE2020.
“This inquiry should be reviewed by all the political parties who took part in this election,” he added.
This came following reports of a woman who was unable to cast her vote due to human error and miscommunication between two election officials handling her registration.
Dr Tambyah asserted that the Elections Department (ELD) should be removed from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and placed under an independent organisation, “reporting to all the registered political parties and answerable to the people of Singapore”.
“The right to choose one’s leaders is fundamental to a democratic state like Singapore. This incident only emphasizes the problems associated with calling a snap election in the middle of a pandemic,” he remarked.
“From the long queues at several counting stations to the changing instructions on the use of disposable gloves to the lack of advance information about the need for personal protective equipment for polling agents from 7 pm and often conflicting instructions for that hour at the polling stations, coupled with the sudden and unexpected announcement about the extension of polling hours, this election has been fraught with missteps, mistakes and misdirections.”
Dr Tambyah went on to say that these are symptoms of an opportunistic rush to capitalise on the perceived flight to safety by an irresponsible and reckless PAP leadership which called for an election months before the end of its term.