In response to Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s statements regarding the nation continuing on with its General Elections in order to better face more pressing issues, some netizens expressed their support. Others however, have questioned what holding an election has to do with handling the crisis faced by the nation.
According to a recent report, in an interview with Channel News Asia, Mr Heng pushed for the General Elections happening soon as opposed to pushing it to a later date.
Whether or not Singapore should continue on with holding a GE or push it back to a time in the future when things will be less hectic, has been an ongoing debate since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. While some have argued that it is better to get it done with as soon as possible, others say that given the risks of holding an election during a health crisis, it would be best for the nation to move it to a later date.
However Mr Heng said the sooner the elections “the earlier we can rally everybody together to deal with these very significant challenges ahead, and also to deal with these very significant uncertainties in the months and years ahead.”
He also issued a call for Singaporeans to prepare for an election, saying, “The sooner that we can deal with the longer term challenges, the better Singaporeans will emerge out of this, and Singapore will emerge stronger. So I would say that, yes, elections are coming nearer by the day, and you have to be prepared for it.”
To support his cause, Mr Heng cited South Korea’s success at holding an election at a time of crisis. Furthermore, he assured that the safety of the public will be given top priority even during elections.
Though some have expressed support for the cause to “get it done with,” others have found an issue with Mr Heng’s statement. One netizen questioned what relation holding an election has with facing challenges, while another posed the question, “(So) if (there’s) no election this year, (then) we cannot (rally) together to deal with the challenge of our generation?”