By: Richard Wan
The Elections Department (ELD) has listed down some exceptions to the prohibition of campaign activities on Cooling-Off Day (http://www.eld.gov.sg/elections_parliamentary.html). One of them is:
“e. The transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means.”
Yet, it has proceeded to file police reports against 2 individuals, Ms Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng, for publishing online postings, which ELD deemed to be part of election advertising, on Cooling-Off Day during the recent Bukit Batok by-election.
ELD said that Ms Teo and Roy “regularly engage in the propagation, promotion and discussion of political issues”.
In fact, tens of thousands of Singaporeans are engaging in online discussions on political issues everyday, including on Cooling-Off Day. They are doing it on a non-commercial and personal basis through the Internet, the digital highway of modern societies. Exception (e) was meant to allow for this even on Cooling-Off Day as it is not practical to shut people off talking about politics on any day including the Cooling-Off Day.
So, the question is why are police reports filed against Ms Teo and Roy and not other individuals?
There is a need for ELD to explain to the public in detail, its decisions in filing police reports against individuals for discussing politics through Internet on Cooling-Off Day or Singaporeans may be living in digital fear in Singapore. Is that what ELD wants?
Republished from Richard Wan’s Facebook.
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org