BETTER get this checked quickly: If you’re above 21 years, are you eligible to vote in the upcoming General Elections (GE)?
Good news: The registers of electors have been prepared and will be available for public inspection from Feb 26 to Mar 11, says the Elections Department.
The registers contain the names of all qualified electors as of Feb 1, 2019.
Singapore citizens, above the electoral age-limit, are able to check their particulars in the registers with their NRIC or passport through the following means:
• Online at the Elections Department website: https://www.eld.gov.sg
• At community centres/clubs in Singapore
• At any Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas registration centres
• At the Elections Department
If you’re unhappy over any matter, claims and objections may be submitted online through the Elections Department website, or in person at community centres or clubs, at Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas registration centres and at the Elections Department.
If you don’t see your name anywhere around, don’t fret: Those with their names removed from the registers for failing to vote in a past election may apply to have them restored, to be able to vote in future elections.
Overseas Singaporeans, whose names are listed in the registers of electors, and have resided in Singapore for at least 30 days between Feb 1, 2016 and Jan 31, 2019, may apply to register as overseas electors to vote at one of the designated overseas polling stations in future elections.
Those who have registered earlier as overseas electors will need to re-register if they meet the qualifying criteria as of Feb 1, 2019 and wish to remain as overseas electors. Application for registration as an overseas elector is open all year round.
However, applications will not be processed during the period from the third day after the Writ for an election is issued until after Nomination Day if the election is uncontested, or until after Polling Day if a poll is to be taken.
The big question on everyone’s mind, if you’re above 21 years: Will snap polls be held this year?
Traditionally, the presence of Budget goodies has been seen by some as an indication of an impending GE, with the Government sharing its surpluses with the people before its current term is up.
Going by the book, the next GE must be held by early 2021. There have been recent hints that the People’s Action Party (PAP) Government will not be calling for polls this year, some analysts said.
MAJOR CABINET RESHUFFLE?
Most Singaporeans are expecting a major Cabinet reshuffle soon after Budget 2019, with 4G (fourth-generation) leaders taking on heavier responsibilities, including the Deputy Prime Minister portfolios.
Speculations are high that the PAP Government might well prefer to hold the GE this year to complete its leadership transition and allow the younger leaders to start focusing on executing their plans for the future sooner rather than later, the analysts said.
Eyes will particularly be on Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who has been earmarked to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and he would probably need time to establish his own team.
Mr Heng, who was appointed as the PAP’s First Assistant Secretary-General in November last year, is expected to become Deputy Prime Minister in the impending Cabinet reshuffle.
Even the opposition are garnering their strategies right with a possibility of a coalition of sorts under former Presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock, 78, a veteran People’s Action Party Member of Parliament (MP), who has applied to the Registry of Societies on Jan 16 to register the party, called ‘Progress Singapore Party’.
The application is pending approval as the processing time typically takes up to two months.
BACKING TAN CHENG BOCK
Prior to contesting the Presidential Election in 2011, which saw him losing narrowly to Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Dr Tan served as a PAP MP for 26 years until 2006.
Dr Tan, who retired as a doctor at the end of last year after practising for 50 years, was previously MP of Ayer Rajah Single-Member Constituency between 1980 and 2006. The constituency was absorbed into the West Coast GRC thereafter.
Even Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has publicly backed Dr Tan’s return to politics. In a recent Facebook post, he wrote that he has known Dr Tan for “many years” and Dr Tan “has consistently put the interests of the people first”.
“We are fortunate that he has stepped forward to serve Singapore,” Mr Lee said, adding that Dr Tan is the “leader Singapore deserves”.