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Who cannot say what on the Internet on Cooling Off Day? NCMP to question PM Lee

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Parliament is scheduled to sit on 11 July 2016, and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Daniel Goh wants the Prime Minister’s Office to answer why two individuals were flagged for breaching the Cooling Off Day regulations. The following is the text of the parliamentary question the NCMP has filed for oral answer:

“To ask the Prime Minister with regard to the Elections Department’s filing of police reports against two individuals for alleged violations of Cooling-Off Day regulations for the Bukit Batok by-election (a) what constitutes “regular propagation, promotion and discussion of political issues” as stated in its press statement; and (b) at which point is such individual propagation no longer within the exception of “transmitting personal political views on a non-commercial basis using the Internet”.”

Writing in his Facebook Mr Goh explained why he filed the question and said:

“Quite frankly I am personally cool with Cooling Off Day. I understand the justification and it has helped create positive spaces for me. Before I entered the political fray, it was a day when I enjoyed drinks with my buddies talking about politics and life from late afternoon to deep into the night. The one Cooling Off Day I experienced as a political contestant was very calming for me, putting me into a reflective mode to keep my mind and heart clear for the results.

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I have been okay with it too because I thought the law and rules to be fair and square, especially in allowing individuals to continue to express their personal political views on the internet, while the politicians on all sides stand down. But with the Bukit Batok BE, a line seems to have been drawn with the police reports against individuals who seem to have been placed in a special class of persons.

Who gets classified as “regular propagators” of political issues? Where exactly is that line that limits the exception of “personal political views”? In other words, who cannot say what on the Internet on Cooling Off Day? And what are the justifications?”

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