With the upcoming General Elections expected to be held soon, many speculate that GE2020 will be held while Covid19 is still around. While the Elections Department (ELD) has not released its campaigning rules, there has been talk that GE2020 may be a virtual GE campaign due to social distancing measures in place. Many political parties have stepped up their game to overcome the Covid19 challenges by going online.
Government Technology Agency (GovTech) announced it had awarded a $6 million tender to a Singapore-based electronics maker PCI Pte Ltd to manufacture TraceTogether Tokens. The $6 million dollars will be used to supply an initial 300,000 dongles, worth about $20 each. The first batch of Token should be delivered in the second half of June 2020. If the PAP successfully pushes through with its plan to tag every Singaporean, PCI Limited stands to gain access to a business potentially worth more than $110 million once Tokens are made for all 5.7 million residents.
There have been speculations both by the state media and netizens that GE2020 will be called in July 2020. According to the latest campaigning guidelines by ELD, it seems that the PAP may be keen to hold the GE in the midst of a Covid19 pandemic. Not to be outmaneuvered by the PAP, major political parties like the Singapore Democratic Party, The Workers' Party and Progress Singapore Party have proactively made calls for donations, volunteers and members to help with their campaigns.
Just how many paper generals does the PAP need? Since Pinky's own entry into politics as a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholar, the pattern of ownself select ownself has gone on and on and the number of paper generals in the party has been increasing. The latest addition to the "mix" is expected to be the country's first woman general (but not first woman paper general) Gan Siow Huang.
On 10 June, Leong Mun Wai called out the speeches by Lee Hsien Loong and Lawrence Wong as being "far short of substance" especially when Singaporeans were hoping to find answers to soothe their anxieties caused by Covid19. Instead Leong Mun Wai raised 10 points which Lee Hsien Loong or Lawrence Wong could have addressed instead of spewing out empty rhetoric.
Facing mounting pressure by repeated calls from various opposition parties, the Elections Department (ELD) finally announced some campaign guidelines if the GE was held amid the Covid19 pandemic. However, the announcement did not appear to offer any concrete rules for campaigning as ELD was still concerned with the developing Covid19 situation and how rules may be "overtaken by events". With the predicted GE2020 to be announced in July, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) laid out some proposals to campaigning rules such that this GE will provide fair exposure and reach for all Parties.
Under normal circumstances, nobody really gives two shits about a PAP rallies. However, COVID-19 has made many Singaporeans start tuning in attentively to the Prime Minister's broadcasts. Seizing the opportunity, the PAP rolled out a series of "national broadcasts" about the post-covid-19 future from 7 to 20 June which looks suspiciously like an election rally schedule.
Secretary-General of People's Voice Party (PVP) Lim Tean had cautioned against the reopening of schools a week before 2 June 2020. It looks like PVP was proven right when state media reported four students and one school employee tested positive for Covid19. Lim Tean reminds voters that PVP has been the only Party that has been right about Covid19 since February 2020, and he attributed these right judgment calls because PVP, unlike the PAP, has been putting People First!
Bloomberg reported that Singapore's Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is facing a money laundering probe by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged money-laundering. It was said that the MBS may be investigated over how it handled the accounts of its top gamblers.
A netizen took to his Facebook (FB) to spread a cautionary tale about being approached for media interviews. His story involved an interview he did with state media Channel NewsAsia (CNA). This interviewee was diagnosed with Covid19 and had spent 68 days being isolated. When CNA initially approached him, the reporter told him that the news angle would be on "hygiene". To his disappointment, CNA "sensationalised" and made its headline into a "clickbait" by focusing on the source of his infection instead.