3,104 Singaporeans abroad sign up to vote

There are 3,104 Singaporeans who have registered to vote overseas at the next elections as of the end of last month, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.

This makes up 0.1 per cent of the total number of electors in the registers, he said, in response to a question from Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) Lina Chiam of the Singapore People's Party.

At the 2011 polls, 78 per cent of registered overseas voters cast their ballots at polling stations abroad.

Separately, Mr Teo also clarified whether full-time employees of statutory boards can stand for election - a question from NCMP Gerald Giam of the Workers' Party.

Mr Teo said the Constitution does not disqualify statutory board employees from running for office or becoming MPs because under the law, statutory boards are distinct entities from the Government.

Most statutory boards, nonetheless, follow the practices of the civil service, which requires its employees to resign before entering politics, said Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

"Employees of these statutory boards are not allowed to hold office in political parties and stand for election to Parliament," he said.

But there is greater flexibility for a small group of statutory boards not involved in policy formulation or implementation. These include institutions of higher learning.

"Employees of these statutory boards are generally allowed to join political parties and stand for election to Parliament unless they hold leadership positions in these entities," said Mr Teo.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline '3,104 Singaporeans abroad sign up to vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe