Singapore—Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam explained in a comment on one of his Facebook posts why Ivan Lim was included in an FB live session but netizens were not happy with the explanation. Mr Lim had bowed out of the General Election before the campaign period started.
Mr Lim, who had been announced as a candidate under the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) on June 24, withdrew from the election after several posts alleged that he was elitist and arrogant during his days in the National Service emerged online.
But he was seen, apparently, in the PAP Jurong GRC team’s Facebook Live session after the results of polls were announced.
This was because he had helped the team in their on-ground activities, SM Tharman wrote, adding that he desired to recognize this as well as give Mr Lim the chance to thank residents.
“Allow me to explain. As a prospective candidate until he stepped aside shortly before Nomination Day, he had worked very hard on the ground – as I mentioned in my opening speech. He is naturally not part of the team of MPs. But I wanted to acknowledge the contribution he had made, and have him add his own thanks to residents in addition to those of the five MPs. I felt it was right, and hope you understand my approach on such matters.”
We did a quick round-up as a PAP Jurong team a short while ago. If elected, our style will remain unchanged. Be on…
SM Tharman and his team at Jurong GRC, incumbents Tan Wu Meng and Rahayu Mahzam, plus newcomers Xie Yao Quan and Shawn Huang, won the highest number of votes in this year’s GE, getting 74.62 percent of the vote versus Red Dot United’s 25.38 percent. However, this was still lower than the 79.28 percent of the votes the Jurong team got in 2015’s election, suggesting that PAP has lost some ground in the GRC.
And while many netizens were seemingly satisfied with the Senior Minister’s clarification, others felt that Mr Lim’s inclusion in the PAP team’s video was “inappropriate.”
One young voter from Jurong expressed that he and his friends were disappointed to see Mr Lim featured in the FB live, as it did not “sit right” with them.
Another wrote that perhaps Mr Lim should not have been allowed to speak during the livestream.
Another felt that there were others who worked as hard for the PAP as Mr Lim had done, but were not mentioned.