The 158th media received complains from political candidates about last minute invitations to participate in political debates. Specifically, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate Bryan Lim Boon Heng criticised Mediacorp for sending an “eleventh hour” invitation. An invite was only sent on 30 June 2.08pm to inform SDP of a live political debate which was held at 1 July 9pm by Chinese media Channel 8. As such Bryan Lim was not given much time to prepare his Mandarin speech.
The Workers’ Party (WP) may have also been given the same short lead time to make preparations for this Chinese debate. But instead of playing along to Mediacorp’s games, WP decided not to attend this Chinese debate altogether. Perhaps WP was right to do a no-show as the Chinese debate turned out to be a farce. While the other party candidates SDP’s Bryan Lim and PSP’s Leong Mun Wai did their best despite an “eleventh hour” invitation, PAP’s Ong Ye Kung appeared surprisingly prepared. One can only wonder if PAP was given the same lead time to prepare for this national broadcast.
Fortunately for the opposition parties, their eloquence outshone the PAP during the English debate. WP newcomer Jamus Lim managed to steal the limelight by resoundingly putting Vivian Balakrishnan in his place with crafted opinions and sharp arguments. SDP’s Dr Chee Soon Juan also held his ground while sparring with Vivian Balakrishnan, and even managed to corner the PAP member into making a public declaration that his party has no plans to raise our population to 10 million.