“The coronavirus situation and its impact on the economy are likely to worsen, and ensuring Singapore can focus on overcoming the challenges is a major factor in deciding when to hold the general election”, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in an interview with SPH radio station Money FM 89.3 on Wed (Mar 11).
When asked about the timing of the next general election, which is due by April 2021, DPM Heng said, “it depends on our assessment of the situation and I’m discussing (this) with the PM. PM will set out his thinking”.
Adding that it is likely the Covid-19 outbreak will last until at least the end of the year, DPM Heng said that “the management attention we need to deal with this will get more challenged in the months ahead because the situation is so fluid, so dynamic”.
“We need to be prepared for the worst, and I hope we will have the conditions to allow us to do that. And that will be a very major factor in deciding when we call the election”, he said.
According to an ST online report, when asked whether Singapore will go to the polls sooner or later, he would only say he is still discussing the matter with PM Lee.
When asked if Singapore would consider holding an election amid the virus outbreak, and whether the Elections Department is looking at measures to protect public health, said: “We are looking at all possibilities.”
He added that Singapore needs to respect its Constitution and make sure that election rules are properly followed.
“But if there’s a need for us to adopt measures to achieve the same objective, then we’ll have to look at the appropriate measures that will allow our people to express their views, cast their votes”, he said, not ruling out any possibility.