Colors: Blue Color

Leader of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Dr Tan Cheng Bock, has made it clear to the PAP - the General Election (GE) can wait. The governments sole focus now should be to mitigate COVID-19 and not to think of how to win votes.

The government has incrementally implemented social-distancing measures as part of the overall strategy to reduce community transmission. They have also put in place safeguards to reduce the import of COVID-19 from overseas.

Calling for an election now will not make sense. It takes only one irresponsible or uninformed person to infect others. Should that scenario transpire, our healthcare system may not be able to cope with the sudden surge of patients.

Healthcare workers may become fatigued and overstretched. Mistakes may happen. This will undo all the good work that has been carried out so far.

Dr Tan said, "A later election may take place at a time when the COVID-19 situation has improved, which is a realistic hope and not a fanciful wish". In a few months or a year from now, other governments may have gotten their act together. Vaccines may have been approved for distribution and clinical use.

Can the PAP out this scenario completely? Surely not.

There is no need to hurry the elections. Many regional and federal governments around the world have postponed their elections. 

It would be irresponsibe and unwise of the PAP not to follow suit.

 

 

 

In Parliament, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean dismissed a suggestion first made by Dr Tan Cheng Bock for the General Election (GE) to be held beyond the deadline of April 2021, and for a caretaker government to be appointed by the President in the interim, following the end of the deadline.

Teo explained that the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has advised that such a delay is unconstitutional and will only be possible if a state of emergency is declared.

Unsurprisingly, while not outrightly closing of the possibility of a delayed election (to be held later in the year), Teo outlined several measures that can be taken so that the GE can be held "safely".

Among the measures mooted for the hustings is the live streaming of speeches and televised rallies.

On polling day itself, Teo elaborated, measures like an express lane for senior voters, social distancing during queuing, and hand sanitisers for voters, can also be implemented.

By taking on this topic in Parliament, Teo and his party are trying to socialise Singaporeans and get them acclimatised to the idea of having an early election.

The PAP may argue otherwise. However, they can't continue to pull the wool over an increasingly knowledgable and discerning citizenry. 

An early election will only benefit the PAP and no one else.

Why put our lives at risk now? They can't say with certainty that the situation won't get worse. On the other hand, they also can't say that the situation will not improve 6 months later.

Why take the risk?

For many years, PAP's policy of selecting paper-Generals from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), has attracted criticisms from political-watchers and the public.

More often than not, these paper-Generals, are scholarship holders. They are perceived to be the elites in the country, from a very young age.

With its recent introductions of new candidates who may contest the elctions under its banner, it is clear that PAP has not abandoned this approach.

Former Army Colonel, Fahmi Aliman, and former Airforce Lt. General, Gan Siow Huang, were pictured with PAP heavyweights, Goh Chok Tong and Ng Eng Hen. 

Online, there has been plenty of discussions among netizens on where they will be contesting.

The question that need to be asked is if they are even worthy of contesting. Both are career civil-servants. They served in the Armed forces where the regimentation and rules organises one's behaviour. Such a regimented environment is also, arguably, more predisposed to group think.

In the real world, no one cares about their former ranks. Their mental capacity and their ability to connect will count. 

Can they perform without their ranks? Can they connect with their citizens?

PAP's persistence with these policy is perhaps symptomatic of the PAP's own inability to attract and recruit credible talent from outside of the civil service. In the longer-term, the PAP will surely be weakened, to the benefit of the opposition parties in Singapore.

 

 

 

The POFMA (Protection from Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) machine rolls on.

It issued corrections directions (CDs) to the leader of the People's Voice Party (PV), Lim Tean, along with two other Facebook users, "Henryace Ace" and Sebastian Ying. The CDs were in connection with posts that alleged that an event held at Safra Jurong East was organised by the People's Association (PA) and the resident's committees (RCs).

This event became one of the largest coronavirus cluster in Singapore. 

Unsurprisingly, the CDs were initiated by Chan Chun Sing, in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of PA.

This is the third time that Lim Tean has been issued with CDs.

This will not stop him from continuing to speak up. He continues to be a vociferous critic of the government in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, even when others laid took a step back. This is to the benefit of Singaporeans as the government has to be transparent with the public.

During a roundtable organised by several news outlets, DPM Heng Swee Keat, while highlighting that the date for the General Elections (GE) has not been set, did not rule out the possibility of having the election amidst this, what is now deemed by the WHO as a pandemic - Covid-19.

Heng himself noted that Covid-19 is likely to last until the end of the year and resources will continue to be required to manage the virus.

Yet, Heng refused to rule out having the GE during this period? Why?

Are they very confident that public sentiment is for the PAP government, based on their policies so far to manage the spread of Covid-19 here?

Even if they are banking on riding the wave of optimism, it is very irresponsible for the PAP to call for an election while Covid-19 is still very fluid and not contained.

An election has to be called by April 2021. There is one more year to go. There is no need for the PAP to take a risk and rush. 

The health and safety of Singaporeans should be prioritised. Not votes for their party.

Where will the rallies be held? Can they confirm that everyone attending the rallies are all socially responsible people who know how to isolate themselves if they are sick? Then there may be those that are asymptomatic. Screenings may not be able to detect them.

In short, it would be reckless to call for an election during this period.

If indeed the PAP calls for an election, we hope Singaporeans can see through the PAP's ruse and vote against the party for gambling on votes for the safety of Singaporeans.

 

 

 

Chan Chun Sing slammed landlords for being "very short-sighted" by not passing on savings from tax rebates to their tenants. 

This was after the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) released a statement detailing their disappointment with landlords who have yet to fufill their promises of rental rebates to their tenants after receiving tax relief from Budget 2020.

Chan reminded the landlords of the symbiotic relationship between them and their tenants. 

“And I will say this to the landlords: The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is a long-term relationship. When the tenants do well, the landlords do well. When the landlords do well, they need to share it with the tenants. Only so, can we continue to do well as one team Singapore.”

Has Chan put himself in the shoes of the landlords?

They are similarly under pressure. Hence, the tax relief. It is unrealistic to expect the landlords to pass on the savings to their tenants.

They need to survive. Tenants can come and go. Many are contracted for relatively short periods.

The challenges, for the landlords, are not exactly the same. If landlords have to close, then their tenants will also face an uncertain time. 

 

 

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