The Straits Times
Published on Jan 15, 2013

Ensure parties follow 'no campaigning' rule before Nomination Day


THE Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the Reform Party have both expressed their interest in contesting the Punggol East by-election.

In the last few days, leaders and representatives from both parties have been seen doing their walkabouts and handing out campaign materials in Punggol East.

A photo in The Sunday Times ("WP rebuffs SDP 'unity' proposal") clearly shows SDP representatives in their party colours and with the party logo on their shirts, after finishing a walkabout in the constituency.

The Parliamentary Elections Act allows political parties to start canvassing for votes only on and after Nomination Day, which, in this case, is tomorrow. The Act also disallows political party representatives who wish to walk the ground prior to Nomination Day from displaying any party affiliations, for example, wearing clothes with the party logo, in the contested constituency.

The Elections Department should stop political parties from engaging in such activities as this is a grave infringement of regulations.

It is also unfair to other political parties that are keen to contest and are abiding by the law.

Penalties should be meted out to political parties that choose not to play fair.

Edwin Lim