Singapore Democratic Party’s Bryan Lim lauded New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to delay polls to October to focus on managing the re-emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Mr Lim, who contested in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC during this year’s general election, in a Facebook post on Monday (17 August) said that this was despite high chances of her winning the elections “hands down, as indicated by the opinion polls”.
“This 40-year-old Prime Minister consulted the other political parties & subsequently postponed the elections. The keywords here are “consultation” & “gives all voters the best chance to receive all the information about parties and candidates”.
“She could have jolly well told the other political parties that she had already given them sufficient time to campaign & insisted on a September election. She didn’t,” he stressed.
Mr Lim noted that not only did Ms Ardern listen to all political parties regarding delaying the election, but she also “ensured that her people had enough time to make an informed choice at the ballot box”.
Singapore’s Polling Day, on the other hand, “is always shrouded in secrecy”, he said.
“Parliament was dissolved 4 days after Phase 2 had kicked off. Nomination Day hurriedly took place 7 days later. Voters were only given a mere 9 days to decide the next 5 years of their future,” said Mr Lim.
A stark contrast also exists between New Zealand media and that of Singapore, he said, as the former is within the top 10 countries on the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) compared to the latter that occupies the 158th spot on the same index.
“So are we indeed a “democratic society which is built based on justice & equality”? Or are we just an autocracy in sheep’s clothing?” Mr Lim questioned.