WP MP's claim that PAP team pulled down posters must be backed up with evidence: Chan Chun Sing

Mr Dennis Tan greeting residents in Hougang while campaigning for the 2020 general election, along with WP's Mr Png Eng Huat (second right) and Mr Low Thia Khiang (right), on June 28, 2020.
Mr Dennis Tan greeting residents in Hougang while campaigning for the 2020 general election, along with WP's Mr Png Eng Huat (second right) and Mr Low Thia Khiang (right), on June 28, 2020.PHOTO: WORKERS' PARTY/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party (WP) MP Dennis Tan's allegation that PAP representatives pulled down posters during the July election is a serious one that he must back up with evidence, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Thursday (Sept 3).

Mr Chan (Tanjong Pagar GRC), who is also second assistant secretary-general of the PAP, said: "Anyone who makes such allegations publicly should substantiate their allegations with evidence, more so when such allegations are made in this House."

Mr Tan was not present in the House during Mr Chan's speech.

On Monday, during the debate on the President's Address in Parliament, Mr Tan (Hougang) charged that the PAP had engaged in "petty and bad politics" during the election, and asked if the PAP had "gone backwards in time" in the way it conducted its campaign in Hougang.

Mr Tan said a resident had told him that she saw someone from the PAP team pulling down WP posters from the original height at which they were placed.

Two complaints were later made to the Elections Department (ELD) about the posters being placed below the 2.2m minimum height requirement, and Mr Tan had to rectify this.

Responding late on Monday, the ELD said in a statement that it did not receive any report from Mr Tan about his posters being pulled down, and asked him to file a report so that it could investigate the matter.

The ELD said its approach is to get the election agent to rectify the issue within three hours, and to take no further action if this is done. For the complaints it received about Mr Tan's posters, it said it adopted the same approach.

On Thursday, Mr Chan said: "In the spirit of constructive politics that we discussed in recent days in this House, it cannot be that a member stands up to raise doubts, and does not follow through to substantiate his allegations."

 
 

Mr Chan said Mr Tan replied to the ELD on Wednesday that he did not make a report to the ELD during the election, as he was focusing on his election campaign, and that he had no plans to do so now.

Mr Chan said: "ELD takes such allegations seriously and will investigate them thoroughly and impartially. This is to be fair to all parties involved, protect the integrity of the election processes and continue to uphold trust in our elections."

Earlier on Monday, Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok) asked Mr Tan to acknowledge that the ELD had been even-handed in handling complaints received from all political parties and candidates, which Mr Tan did.