Once again emphasising that elections should not be called, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said on Tuesday (March 17) that the lockdown in Malaysia was yet another reason why.
In a post on its blog, the opposition party said that “Malaysia’s announcement of a lockdown within its borders will have significant repercussions for Singapore in the worsening Covid-19 crisis”.
On Monday night, Malaysia announced that it would impose a Movement Control Order to combat the spread of Covid-19. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a live address on television: “The government has decided to implement a Movement Control Order, starting March 18, 2020, that is, the day after tomorrow until March 31, 2020, nationwide.”
Sharing a photo of a congested Causeway, the SDP noted: “Just after the announcement by the Malaysian PM that the restriction will take effect from 18-31 March, people in Malaysia started making their way to Singapore last night and will undoubtedly continue today.
“Tens of thousands of workers, many of whom may already be infected with the virus but show no symptoms, are crossing the Causeway into Singapore undetected.”
It said that the influx of these people, whose symptoms may only present weeks later, will stretch an already precarious situation in Singapore to breaking point.
The SDP added that should infections escalate to a point where thousands need to be quarantined, these voters would be denied their right to elect their own Members of Parliament (MPs).
By calling elections early, it said, “the whole GE process will be thrown into chaos. The voting process will be riddled with irregularities and results disputed. What will this do to the nation going forward?”
In conclusion, the SDP asked for elections to be called only after the Covid-19 outbreak has died down. It reiterated that, “in light of the latest announcement in Malaysia and our own deteriorating circumstances, it would be unconscionable for the PAP to call for the GE at this time”.