Speaking to reporters at the doorstop interview at Bukit Batok this morning (30 Apr), the secretary-general (SG) of the People’s Action party (PAP), Lee Hsien Loong, talked about race being a factor in the by-election.
Referring to Singapore Democratic Party’s candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr Lee suggested that when pressures heats up Dr Chee may feel that he should use his race to his advantage, and that it was wrong.
Mr Lee said:
“I see online some comments making this point about race in a quite open way. I hear some rumours going around within the constituency that people say, ‘Just vote for the Chinese, that’s good’. I think that is completely wrong and bad.
“I see also on Chee Soon Juan’s webpage, his postings and then there are comments, and there are some comments which are along this vein too, and they have not been refuted or taken down.”
Speaking to reporters at a doorstop at his walkabout this evening, Dr Chee Soon Juan said that the PAP’s secretary-general’s accusation are “absolutely appalling!”
Dr Chee the SG of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), reminding reporters about his stand on the topic of race being a factor in this election, asked the SG of PAP to “stop playing politics. That is what I am trying to tell you, stop playing politics!”
In late March when the PAP introduced Murali Pillai as its candidate for the by-election in Bukit Batok and suggested that race may be an important factor for voters to consider in the election, Dr Chee dismissed such talks.
Citing the 1981 Anson by-election won by JB Jeyaretnam Dr Chee asked, “You mean the majority of people there were Indians?”
“My contest with him will not be based on the fact that he’s Indian and I’m Chinese. I will contest him as a PAP candidate and a Singaporean who means well for our country, just as we do. We just have honest differences in our outlooks, and how we approach the situation, so we will leave that to the voters,” Dr Chee added.
At the doorstop today Dr Chee said, “if the PAP wants to talk about racism. Then I will refer you back to some of the comments that PAP leaders have made about the Malay.”
Dr Chee reminded the PAP that it cannot pick and choose comments found in his webpage.
“What about comments posted about in all the Facebook pages? It is not possible just to go through every, there are hundreds of comments in there ,” he said.
Dr Chee said that SDP’s webpages only kept everybody updated on the issues that matters, and make it a point to stay away from personal attacks “whether what is it that you have done, personal indiscretion so on and so forth.”
Dr Chee said that any political party can only encourage its supporters to stick to the issues without indulging in personal attacks. “That’s got to be the way we approach things,” he said.
The SG of SDP accused the PAP of playing games by picking on things like comments found on Facebook, when the leaders of PAP themselves were making all these racist comments themselves.
“So this is what I want to get in and try to make sure all these things stop . It is just not edifying and I think politics, there should be certain standard,” Dr Chee admonished.

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