SDP and JTC trade words over cancellation of the political party's campaign launch venue

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan and SDP chairman Paul Tambyah field questions from the media and the audience during a launch event for the party's election campaign on Feb 23, 2019.
Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan and SDP chairman Paul Tambyah field questions from the media and the audience during a launch event for the party's election campaign on Feb 23, 2019.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and JTC Corporation have posted on Facebook their versions of events which led to the last-minute cancellation of the venue booking for the political party's election campaign launch last Saturday (Feb 23).

The event was to have been held at a building in Eunos where JTC is the landlord.

In the latest salvo on Sunday, the SDP posted what it said was the text of an e-mail sent last Friday from a representative of KCC Ventures, which manages the SLV Hub events space.

The e-mail purportedly said that all events on Saturday had to be cancelled due to a "last-minute unforeseen JTC inspection", and that a full refund would be issued.

The SDP also claimed in the social media post that a manager from SLV Hub later said over the phone that the building management had insisted that events that are political in nature are not allowed on its premises.

As a result of the cancellation, the SDP said it had to scramble before it held the event at Mandarin Orchard Hotel.

In its Facebook post last Saturday, JTC said it had "no prior knowledge" of the event, and that it had informed the venue owner on Feb 8 of an inspection to take place on Feb 28, not Feb 23.

The planned inspection is part of ongoing investigations into unauthorised sublet activities, JTC said.

"It is totally irresponsible to conflate this issue with the ongoing investigations, and allege political motives on the part of JTC," it had said.

The SDP said that if JTC wants to take issue with the matter, it should do so with KCC Ventures.

"While at it, JTC should also clarify whether it has any policy barring political events such as the one we held yesterday from its premises," the SDP wrote in its Facebook post.

When contacted on Sunday, JTC referred to its earlier statement.

The Straits Times has contacted SLV Hub for comment.