By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
In Parliament on Wednesday (13 Apr), WP Sylvia Lim argued that People’s Association (PA), a government statutory board has become partisan.
She said that PA’s activities have deviated from its original objectives, and pointed to the mobilisation of grassroots members to campaign for PAP’s candidates during elections.
Deputy Chairman of PA, Chan Chun Sing, of course, continued to deny this. He said that PA’s mission is to strengthen the social fabric of the nation.
“When I see my own residents, participants of my PA activities, supporting the Opposition, I can only ask myself: ‘How can I work harder to win them over?’” he said.
“The PA is a statutory board. It executes the directions for the Government of the day, as per any statutory board. The PA does not allow any political activity or canvassing on our premises or in our activities. And we certainly do not mobilise anyone for any political party,” Mr Chan reiterated.
“If Ms Lim has any such evidence of wrongdoing, you can let me know, and I guarantee you I will follow up. I will be the last person to ever allow the PA to be politicised.”
Proof of mobilization of grassroots members for political purpose
Well, there appears to be ample proof that PA people were utilized for political purpose. In fact, not only the grassroots activists help to campaign for PAP’s candidates during elections, they also help to campaign for independent candidates too!
Everyone knows that in a 3-cornered fight, it can only benefit the PAP.
Alex Au, a social media commentator was in fact at the nomination centre for Bukit Batok during the GE2015 last year. He was there to act as one of the assentors for an SDP candidate.
This was what he saw at the nomination centre and reported it (https://yawningbread.
“Independent candidate Samir Salim Neji’s nomination attempt was first disqualified by the election returning officers at Keming Primary School which served as the nomination centre for Bukit Batok and three other constituencies. He came to the centre with three other persons, when the rules require that each nominee should present a proposer, a seconder, four assentors, and can also have “one other person” present, making a total of eight persons including the nominee/candidate. With only four persons in Samir Salim’s group, it didn’t look as if he met the criteria.
The proposer, seconder and assentors must all be registered voters in the respective constituency. The “one other person” is typically the election agent who attends to all supporting activities to aid the candidate in his or her campaign.
I was in the nomination centre to observe all this as I had agreed to be one of the assentors for SDP’s candidate for Yuhua, Jaslyn Go. Keming Primary School also served as the nomination centre for Yuhua constituency.
It took only a few minutes for the officials to turn Samir Salim away. A few SDP supporters went over to speak to him, and (I was later told), it seemed that his problem was that his other assentors were either overseas or failed to show up at the nomination centre. I also heard that he had been “in Singapore” for fifteen years.
It should be noted — not that race is any issue here, but just to help understand the next part of the narrative — that all four persons in Samir Salim’s group were non-Chinese. They appeared to be of South Asian origin.
It wasn’t long before a flurry of conversations occurred among the PAP people in the nomination centre, and ten orfifteen minutes later, fresh documents were brought before the nomination centre officials. It turned out that the PAP had offered three persons living in Bukit Batok to be Samir Salim’s assentors, thus saving his candidacy from disqualification. At the close of the one-hour nomination window, this form was posted for public viewing, showing three Chinese names as his assentors, making the requisite four:”
Among the names on the form, 2 names stood out: Mohamad Khabir Bin Ibrahim Shah and Seah Qi En.
Seah Qi En’s name was also found on this blog (http://monstershack.blogspot.
Mohamad Khabir Bin Ibrahim Shah was the seconder for independent candidate Samir Salim. This was also confirmed inside this Government Gazette (http://www.eld.gov.sg/
Mr Mohamad Khabir is currently the Bukit Batok Zone 5 RC Manager (http://www.bukitbatok.org.sg/
If Mr Chan really wants to follow up so as to disallow PA to be politicised, perhaps he can start by talking to Seah Qi En and Mohamad Khabir first. Go find out who had ask them to volunteer as seconder and assentor for independent candidate Samir Salim at the nomination centre during the last GE, so as to save Samir’s candidacy from disqualification.
How about it, Mr Chan?