It is a “serious allegation” that Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dennis Tan alleged the ruling party had made complaints about WP’s placement of election posters in Hougang SMC, and such allegations should be “substantiated with evidence”, said the Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Thursday (3 Sept).
Mr Chan was referring to the comments made by Mr Tan on 31 Aug during the first day of parliamentary debates, where he questioned the ruling party for its “petty and bad politics” as the WP’s election poster being pulled down from the original height after the complaints from the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) team.
In response to this, Mr Chan noted, “This is a serious allegation.”
He continued, “When challenged in this house by Mr Murali, Mr Tan acknowledged that ELD has been even-handed in handling complaints received from all political parties and candidates. ELD has not received any report from Mr Tan on his allegations that his posters were pulled down from the original height.”
Adding to his point, Mr Chan pointed out that Elections Department (ELD) has also invited Mr Tan to file a report to investigate the matter.
However, he said Mr Tan responded on 2 Sept that he did not make a report to ELD during the General Election (GE) as Mr Tan was focusing on the election campaigns and “did not have plans to do so now”.
Mr Chan then commented, “Anyone who makes such allegations publicly should substantiate their allegations with evidence, more so when such allegations are made in this House.”
“And in the spirit of constructive politics that we discussed in recent days in this House. It cannot be that a Member stands up to raise doubts and does not follow through to substantiate his allegations,” he added.
Stressing that ELD takes such allegations seriously, he said ELD will investigate the matter “thoroughly and impartially”.
“This is to be fair to all parties involved, protect the integrity of the elections processes and continue to uphold trust in our elections,” he noted.
Watch the video of Mr Chan’s response here.
WP’s Dennis Tan embroils in heated exchange with PAP’s Murali Pillai over ruling party’s “petty and bad politics” in GE2020
During the parliamentary debates on Monday (31 Aug), Mr Tan shared his experience in July’s GE2020, questioning the PAP for its “petty and bad politics”.
According to Mr Tan, complaints were made to the ELD about WP’s placement of posters in Hougang being below the required 2.2m height.
A resident also told him that representative from PAP were seen pulling WP’s posters to ensure that they fall below its original height.
Not only this, the MP of Hougang complained that the PAP had also placed its own flags in front of WP’s banner in the constituency, “blocking a clean sighting of the content” of his banners.
PAP also planted many of its flags around coffee shops in Hougang, shared Mr Tan.
Penning their thoughts on the Facebook page of Mothership.sg, the netizens pointed out that PAP should check on their own members who “violate the rule and let off without penalty”.
A couple of netizens also argued that evidence of such incidents had been circulated on social media during the recent GE.