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Elections Department says police looking into ST report

Published on Jan 13, 2013 9:45 PM
 
The police have been asked to look into a report published by The Straits Times, which appeared on the day after the Punggol East election writ was issued, the Elections Department said today. --ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

The police have been asked to look into a report published by The Straits Times, which appeared on the day after the Punggol East election writ was issued, the Elections Department said today.

The report cited the views of residents in the ward to give a sense of the mood on the ground. It was headlined: "ST poll: More rooting for PAP."

This sparked comments online that ST might have contravened the law, since Section 78C of the Parliamentary Elections Act forbids the publication of "the results of any election survey" from the day the writ is issued to the close of all polling stations on Polling Day.

Responding to this, Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said the paper would co-operate with any police investigation into the report. He said: "Our reporters spoke with residents in Punggol East to get their comments and a sense of the ground for our election reports. This was not a full-scale survey, or scientific poll, by any means.

"The headline for our story overstated the significance of the information gathered by calling it a poll. We are sorry for this lapse."