Secretary-general of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Dr Tan Cheng Bock referred to police reports made against Workers’ Party (WP) candidate Raeesah Khan’s social media posts as “gutter politics”.
Dr Tan added that he did not want to be involved in politics of that nature, and said that whoever made the police reports had timed them to coincide with the campaign period.
“(The posts were made) so long ago they should’ve taken action (earlier). Why wait until now? That’s my question,” said Dr Tan.
“When it comes to politicking of this nature, let us (take the high road), then the world will look at us and regard Singapore as a mature country”, he added.
Dr Tan made his comments in an interview after accompanying his party’s Tanjong Pagar GRC team on a walkabout at Bukit Merah View Market.
Ms Raeesah’s posts were made in February 2018 and May this year, where she suggested that police officers discriminated against citizens, and that rich Chinese and white people were treated differently under the law. She also said that minorities and mosque leaders were given different treatment compared with church leaders.
She faced backlash from netizens and is being investigated after two police reports were made against her for the social media posts.
When news of the police reports broke on Sunday, Ms Raeesah, who is on the WP’s Sengkang GRC team, apologised for making “insensitive” and “improper” remarks.
In talking to reporters, Dr Tan said parties should ask themselves if they have campaigned in a “gentlemanly way”.
“I don’t want to pick an event that happened two years ago. That shows that they have been waiting for this moment and this is what I call gutter politics”, Dr Tan remarked.
Similarly, when an attack was made on Bukit Batok PAP candidate Murali Pillai’s family, another opposition politician – Singapore Democratic Party Chief Dr Chee Soon Juan later said that this “is not what politics should be”.
In a Facebook post, Dr Chee spoke of Mr Murali’s “anguished response”.
“I stand with Mr Murali on this,” Dr Chee added. “Politics is about ideas on how we can make our nation better, not personal attacks like this.”
He added that while he may disagree with Mr Murali on his political views, differences “must not be allowed to degenerate into unseemly smears against the candidates and their families”. -/TISG