SDP Calls For GE To Be Ruled Out In The Midst Of Covid19 Outbreak

With the recent release of the boundaries report by the Elections Department on Friday, coupled with DPM Heng Swee Keat having just recently said that he will not rule out the GE happening during the COVID19 outbreak, Singaporeans are now bracing for the General Elections being called anytime soon. The GE has to be called by April 2021, and judging from history, the GE is normally called between a day and two months after the release of the boundaries report.

So, can Singaporeans expect the GE to be called anytime between now till May? SDP certainly thinks that if this is true, it will be highly irresponsible of the Singapore government, as Singapore and the world itself are still battling the COVID19. In a statement that was issued by SDP before the boundaries report was announced, SDP has called out the PAP to refrain form such a irresponsible act. Surely most Singaporeans would agree with this sentiment. The statement in full reads:

"There are signs that the PAP may call for the general elections (GE) in the near future.

Mr Heng Swee Keat said in an interview that the PAP will not rule out holding the GE during the current outbreak of Covid-19. Ms Josephine Teo announced this week that PAP will be introducing its women candidates in due course. Also, the Government has just published changes to several electoral divisions yesterday, 12 March 2020.

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The SDP calls on the PAP to refrain from such an irresponsible act.

All state resources should be focused on dealing with the spread of the virus which the World Health Organization has called a pandemic. The situation in Singapore has flared up again and could worsen considerably in the coming weeks and months.

The SDP has been repeatedly calling on Singaporeans to unite and cooperate with the authorities in this difficult time. Our priority is to rid ourselves of this health threat. Elections can come later.

We hope that the PAP will not capitalise on the crisis by holding the GE at this time as it will take away valuable resources needed to combat the virus outbreak and jeopardise the public's health and well-being.

Experts have different opinions as to when this pandemic will end. As such there is no urgency to hold an election in the midst of this crisis. After all, the term of this parliament does not end until April 2021.

The SDP, therefore, calls on the Government to categorically rule out the GE until clear signs indicate that we are seeing tail-end of the virus spread. No to do so would signal that the PAP is putting its own interests over the people's safety.

Prematurely calling an election will undo all the good work the people have put in these last two and a half months, working together as one, putting aside party politics to help our country and our people deal with this viral threat."

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