OUR VOTES ARE SECRET, BUT WHY NO EFFORTS MADE TO EDUCATE SGREANS THEY ARE?

Dear Editors

Mr Charles Chong has written an article on the People’s Action Party website on the issue of new citizens and ballot secrecy education that was debated in Parliament last week (see here: https://www.pap.org.sg/the-more-things-change).

Our votes are secret. We maintain this and communicate this to Singaporeans. This is a fact. In Parliament, I spoke about education to ensure that everyone understands this fact.

The article seems to confuse two separate issues – whether or not our votes are secret (on which there is no dispute); and whether there is a fear among some voters that it is not, and if so how to counter that fear. From the article, it is not clear if Mr Chong believes that (a) no such fear exists; or (b) such a fear exists but there is no need to counter it.

In the article, Mr Chong did not explain why the government does not insert ballot secrecy education into the Singapore citizenship journey to ensure that new citizens understand that their votes are secret. For example, a short write-up could be inserted into the handbook for new citizens. In Parliament, I asked why this could not be done, since this is relatively easy and not costly to do. We should also educate our students about ballot secrecy.

NCMP Leon Perera

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