The authorities’ decision to take no “further action” on Minister Ong Ye Kung’s alleged breach of campaign rules in the recent general election has drawn criticism from members of the public, who branded the move a form of “double standards”.
On 2 July — the third day of campaigning — Mr Ong had posted a three-minute video featuring a young boy who lives in Sembawang, in which they spoke about “how it is a good place to grow up” in.
Shortly after, however, Mr Ong issued an apology and took down the video after being “informed by authorities that this is not in line with electoral rules”.
Under Section 83(1)(a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, primary and secondary school students are prohibited from partaking in any election activities — including videos such as the one uploaded by Mr Ong.
A police report was lodged against Mr Ong over the video.
Last Saturday (18 July), however, the Elections Department (ELD) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a joint statement said that the latter will be taking no further action against Mr Ong as the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) “had looked into the matter”.
Their statement added that the ARO “had issued an advisory to Mr Ong Ye Kung to remind him to comply with the law in relation to all campaigning activities”.
Commenters criticised what they branded as a form of “double standards”, as politicians from alternative parties may not be treated as leniently.
Several commenters questioned whether Mr Ong was truly unaware of rules prohibiting the appearance and participation of primary and secondary school students in election campaigns.
Several commenters said that such instances of purported “double standards” have contributed to citizens voting for alternative parties for greater accountability from the ruling party.