Words, not photos, for some opposition parties' posters

Left: A Singapore Democratic Alliance's campaign poster, "Say no to 6.9", refers to the top-end forecast of a Population White Paper that the Government put out in 2013. Right: A National Solidarity Party poster highlights one of its election issues.
Left: A Singapore Democratic Alliance's campaign poster, "Say no to 6.9", refers to the top-end forecast of a Population White Paper that the Government put out in 2013. Right: A National Solidarity Party poster highlights one of its election issues.ST PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN, ZHAKI ABDULLAH

It is no longer enough to have a candidate's portrait, party logo and a call for votes on election posters.

Some opposition parties are using these billboards, usually hung up on lamp-posts along public roads, to put out key messages on issues they are campaigning on at the Sept 11 polls.

The National Solidarity Party (NSP), for instance, has put up posters with taglines like "Is CPF personal life savings your money?" They can be seen in Tampines GRC, where the party is contesting.

The Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), which is contesting Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, has campaign posters that say, "Say no to 6.9", referring to the top-end forecast of a Population White Paper the Government put out in 2013.

Ms Kevryn Lim, who is contesting Sembawang GRC under the NSP banner, said the party has a variety of posters. Most come with messages on issues it plans to address at the hustings. "I believe this will be more effective because if residents just see your face and they don't want what you want, there's no point. But we also need to have some exposure, so we do have posters of our faces too," she said.

SDA chief Desmond Lim said this is the first time his party is putting up posters with messages in four languages, instead of portraits of its six candidates."Whether it is going to be effective or not, I think you can only tell after the election results are out," he said.

Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said the parties are trying to differentiate themselves because of the "more crowded electoral landscape". "They also want to impress upon voters what the party is canvassing for... and remind them what are some of the hot-button issues," he said.

"They feel that people are going to remember parties by what they stand for rather than their faces."

Meanwhile, the police are investigating how a string of People's Action Party (PAP) posters put up in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC were damaged. The PAP has fielded a team led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean to contest the GRC.

• Additional reporting by Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Words, not photos, for some opposition parties' posters'. Print Edition | Subscribe