GE 2015: Rallies

SDP will be first to hold lunchtime rally

The packed square beside UOB Plaza during Singapore Democratic Party's lunchtime rally on the last day of campaigning in GE2011.
The packed square beside UOB Plaza during Singapore Democratic Party's lunchtime rally on the last day of campaigning in GE2011.ST FILE PHOTO

Area beside UOB Plaza is successor venue to Fullerton Square

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has pipped the People's Action Party (PAP) to be the first to hold a lunchtime rally in the city this election season.

The surprise turn was revealed yesterday evening, when the police released a list of 10 rally sites for today.

The SDP has the site at the promenade area beside UOB Plaza in Boat Quay from noon.

The PAP had been expected to hold its city rally today. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told reporters last Saturday that he would be speaking more about his party's policies at a lunchtime rally today.

The police declined to reveal how many parties had applied for the spot before the SDP won the ballot.

But having got it for today, the SDP will not be able to bid for it again tomorrow.

Under rally site rules, a party which is allocated a site must give way to other applicants that apply for the same spot at the same time the next day.

This gives the contesting parties and independent candidates more chances to use the same venue.

The earliest that the PAP can now hold a lunchtime rally will be tomorrow, and a party spokesman said it has re-applied for the same site.

The UOB Plaza promenade has symbolic significance as it is the successor venue to Fullerton Square, where founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew spoke from the 1960s through the 1980s, delivering some of his most stirring speeches.

It is also the only site available for lunchtime rallies.

In the 2011 General Election, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin had referred to the UOB Plaza rally as the "Fullerton Rally".

That year, PAP was the first party to hold its rally there.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'SDP will be first to hold lunchtime rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe