SINGAPORE — Just last week, a Reddit user shared an image showing what seems to be a screenshot of the voting reminder setting page in the Facebook mobile application, stating that an election is upcoming on the 3 June for where the user is located, which is Singapore.
If you wonder where you can see this notification on Facebook, you have to note that one can only access the voting reminder via the Facebook app.
To access this, go to Settings > Profile Settings > Feed Preference > Voting reminders.
I did a check on my own voting reminder and saw the same notification. (Ignore the location as Facebook registers me as being in Singapore and I am in Taiwan)
After writing to Facebook last week for comments in regard to the notification, no response has been received so far.
We will update this post when they respond.
The users on the Reddit post speculate that it might be the Presidential Election (PE) which must be held by September next year.
Based on past trends of the PE, the election will be called in August or Sept which is at the very end of the six-year term of the President.
Reddit users on the tread, however, don’t think Facebook’s notification of 3 June— if true, refers to the General Election since the last General Election (GE) was held in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic — just over two years.
Under Singapore Consitution, an election has to be held within five years from when the first sitting of Parliament.
There is, however, no minimum duration needed for a GE to be called as it all depends on when the Prime Minister of the day decides to do so and obtains the approval of the President — which is basically not a question.
TOC has heard rumours among opposition politicians and activists these days have suggested that the ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP) might be looking at a snap election early next year — supposedly to avoid facing right smack in the middle of the impending recession that Singapore is having in the next couple of years.
The rumours are further fuelled by recent moves by the government, such as raising salaries for civil servants, generous GST vouchers, the repeal of Section 377a of the Penal Code and even looking at granting legal ownership of cats in HDB flats.
Civil servants such as teachers at public schools have shared a few months ago that they had gone for election training and some have even received confirmation of their official positions as election agents.
Although some suggested that the appointments are meant for PE.
The tone of speeches by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong during the PAP bi-annual conference in some way lends some weight to such rumours.
Mr Lee’s speech at the party conference last year was more of asking party members to keep up the good work. But this year, it was focused on criticising the opposition parties and reminding the Singapore public that the party needs a strong mandate in order to govern Singapore confidently.
Mr Wong’s maiden speech as Mr Lee’s successor at the party conference is also along the same line of asking PAP members to prepare for a tough fight in the next GE.
It might also be that PAP is troubled by the recent judgement released by the Court of Appeal on the lawsuit between the Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and its former town councillors.
The judgement essentially exonerated the Workers’ Party (WP) leaders from the years of tarring by the PAP politicians, such as DPM Heng Swee Keat raising a motion in 2019 to
He said that the debate was necessary as there has been a “pattern of denial and deflection of these very serious lapses” by the WP.
However, the judgement by the Court of Appeal ruled that based on the evidence presented to them, the former town councillors and its employees of AHTC had acted in good faith when they awarded the contracts to their managing agent without an open tender and the other deals.
Given that PAP has relied heavily on matters of the AHTC to cast aspersions upon its toughest political competitor during the last two elections, the ruling essentially deprived it of its heavy ammunition in the next GE.
Lucky for PAP, it still has the matter of former WP MP, Raeesah Khan as stones to throw at the WP leaders.
Though as the common saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
In any case, opposition parties have been seen ramping up their outreach in recent months and some seem to have also decided to expand their territories in the upcoming GE, such as Progress Singapore Party making moves on Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Red Dot United at Tanjong Pagar GRC and WP at Tampines GRC.