Singapore GE2020: PAP's Murali criticises 'scurrilous' post targeting his family

PAP candidate Murali Pillai at Nan Hua High School yesterday. He is seeking re-election in Bukit Batok.
PAP candidate Murali Pillai at Nan Hua High School yesterday. He is seeking re-election in Bukit Batok.

People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai has hit out against a "scurrilous attack" on his family through a post about his son, which he linked to the announcement of his standing for re-election.

Mr Murali, who was elected into Parliament in 2016, said the post surfaced yesterday "minutes after election has been declared in Bukit Batok SMC".

Though he did not go into details, Mr Murali, 52, said in his video message to Bukit Batok residents: "My son was a victim of a scandal. He also committed offences. The court has dealt with all these matters. The perpetrators behind the scandal have been dealt with.

"He himself has been dealt with and is serving sentence."

Mr Murali, a lawyer, said the timing of the post "leaves nothing to imagination".

Earlier, it was announced that he was set for a rematch of the 2016 by-election contest he had with Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party, after the pair submitted their nomination papers.

The two candidates had contested the single-member constituency after the departure of PAP MP David Ong over allegations of an extramarital affair. Mr Murali won with 61.2 per cent of the vote.

Dr Chee posted a criticism of the attack on his own Facebook page, saying that while he has not seen the post, he has watched Mr Murali's "anguished response to it".

"I stand with Mr Murali on this and call on whoever who did this video to stop it and for others not to circulate it," wrote Dr Chee.

"I may disagree with Mr Murali on his political views and we can have a healthy and professional debate on them. But our differences must not be allowed to degenerate into unseemly smears against the candidates and their families."

 
 
 

Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Murali did not elaborate on the scandal, but said he would not let personal attacks distract him from the issues that Bukit Batok residents care about.

"I am determined to continue helping Bukit Batok families to overcome the challenges that we collectively face in this present crisis."

In his video on Facebook, Mr Murali acknowledged that he is not a perfect father and that all families have issues, but these issues should be separate from politics. "Yes, I am not a perfect father. Yes, families have issues. But no, these things should not be brought into politics. I am terribly affected by this, but I will not be deterred. I will fight on."

  • Additional reporting by Zaihan Mohamed Yusof
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2020, with the headline 'PAP's Murali criticises 'scurrilous' post targeting his family'. Print Edition | Subscribe