Singapore—As the country prepares to enter Phase 2 of Safe Transition with more circuit breaker restrictions lifted on Friday (June 19), Singapore’s political parties and Members of Parliament have begun planning to resume on-ground activities with residents in the various constituencies.
And according to a report in The Straits Times (ST), they intend to follow the guidelines given by the ministerial task force assigned to tackle the various issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic when they conduct their on-ground activities.
MPs from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) also emphasized that the resumption of their activities, which had been put on hold for over two months, are part of their regular endeavours at community engagement, and not early campaigning for the upcoming General Election (GE), said the ST report.
PAP also intends to continue with online engagements and webinars. Lee Bah Wah and Sun Xueling, of Nee Soon GRC and Ris-Punggol GRC, have been emailing residents as a means of communication. But the ST report quotes Ms Lee as saying,”I am eager to restart face-to-face MPS (Meet-the-People Sessions) as soon as it is safe. My branch is awaiting guidance on this.”
A representative from the party did not give a direct answer concerning the format of PAP’s election campaign. But about the resumed on-ground engagement, she said, “The party will adhere strictly to the multi-ministry task force advisory for phase two of the post-circuit measures in the conduct of any activities with public interaction.”
The date for the GE has yet to be announced, but is widely speculated to take place in July.
According to the guidelines from the multi-ministry task force, Phase 2 will allow social gatherings of as many as five individuals, which allows for on-ground activities in small groups.
However, the Elections Department (ELD) has not yet released its guidelines for campaigning.
ST quotes Ang Wei Neng, an MP for Jurong GRC, as saying that he will be going to market and coffee-shop stallholders in Jurong from June 20 onward, in order to encourage them to join the Community Development Council Vouchers Scheme as well as begin using e-payment methods.
He said,”Along the way, I will meet residents and will assist them where necessary,” but also said that his team would observe social distancing and the limit of five people for gatherings.
Lim Biow Chuan, the MP from Mountbatten, however, said he would wait for further guidelines for doing on-ground activities during Phase 2 of the Safe Transition period, but that when it’s a certainty that community engagement may resume, he will go see vulnerable families and people among the residents.
“Making sure that my residents are taken care of supersedes campaigning… If you’ve done your work, people will know,” ST quotes him as saying. —/TISG