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Petition to hold elections only after Covid-19 crisis is resolved

Many of those who sign concerned about their health in the midst of the pandemic

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Singapore — A man has started a petition against holding the General Election, which must take place before April next year, during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Rowen Ong’s petition, started over the weekend and titled “Government should hold elections after the solution of corona virus is resolved”, garnered more than 1,370 signatures in two days.

Urging other Singaporeans to add their signatures to the petition, Mr Ong wrote: “The Singapore Government has spoken more than once that social distancing is important.

“We should not congregate and be in social gatherings of more than 250 people.”

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He added: “An election involves more than 250 people at any given location and queuing up for the vote.

“It is contrary to what they have been preaching of social distancing.”

He pointed out that, for Singaporeans to fairly find out about each political party, rallies and campaigns would be required.

“Instead of the elections and a period of politic limbo and endangering citizens; elections should be postponed,” he said.

Mr Ong wrote: “Pls show the government that your lives and the danger of co vid 19 is more important than to have elections within this year due to the virus.”

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report was released on Friday (March 13) and it announced that there will be more electoral divisions but no six-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) in the coming elections.

The Government accepted the committee’s recommendations and will implement them in the next elections.

In a Facebook post on March 14, a day after the EBRC report was released, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that the Covid-19 outbreak will likely last at least this year, and quite possibly longer.

He said there are two choices when it comes to the timing of the General Election: To hold elections after things stabilise or “else to call elections early, knowing that we are going into a hurricane, to elect a new government with a fresh mandate and a full term ahead of it, which can work with Singaporeans on the critical tasks at hand”.

He added that precautions will be taken if elections are to be held before the Covid-19 crisis is resolved.

Mr Ong’s petition was shared on change.org.

Netizens who commented on the petition mentioned their reasons for signing it. Many said they were concerned about their health in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday (March 21), Singapore reported its first two Covid-19  deaths: A 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man. /TISG

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