Announced today (April 27th) in their press release, the ruling party PAP claimed that there is “no breach of law” behind their S$1.9 million vote-buying method. Earlier this week, PAP candidate Murali openly declared that Bukit Batok residents will get S$1.9 million worth of infrastructural upgrading only when he wins the election. However, the S$1.9 million carrot is paid for by taxpayers dollars under the Ministry of National Development and not from the PAP candidate’s own pockets.
In response to the vote-buying campaign method, SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah then criticised that vote-buying is unethical and may contravene the Parliamentary Elections Act (Section 59) which prohibits parties or persons from bringing undue influence on voters.
The PAP then said the National University Hospital (NUH) professor was being absurd:
“SDP’s speculation that the PAP candidate in Bukit Batok may have made a statement in breach of the law is absurd.
If a candidate for election as Member of Parliament is not elected, his Party’s Town Council naturally cannot be responsible for the constituency, and cannot carry out its Neighbourhood Renewal Programme plans for that constituency. This simple fact was what Mr Murali Pillai had stated in response to a query from the media on Apr 24. It will then be for the new Town Council that is formed to decide on its plans and what it should proceed with.
The Government funds NRP projects for all Town Councils. The number of NRP projects approved for each Town Council takes into account characteristics such as the age profile of the HDB units governed by each Town Council. It is the Town Council that nominates the neighbourhoods which should be prioritised for NRP, when it applies for Government funding.”
As the PAP candidate was not able to respond coherently to media enquiries over his S$1.9 million upgrading carrot, he sought help from Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Senior Minister Grace Fu to help him address the issue in yesterday’s (April 26th) press conference. DPM Tharman side-stepped the question and instead slammed the SDP for being hooligan-like:
“There is no need for all these blusters. There is no need to begrudge the PAP for having done so these consultation already. If you need more time to do your consultation, say so, there’s nothing wrong.”
Corruption has been largely legalised in Singapore with the obstacle-less passing of new laws by the single party rule, henceforth corruption is “low” according to the Prime Minister. His rationale goes that high salaries keep corruptions away. Ministerial salaries in Singapore is the world’s highest and MPs are allowed to obtain government contracts in their constituencies with their own companies.
On Nomination Day today (April 27th) at Keming Primary School, PAP supporters outnumber the Opposition SDP’s supporters and according to witnesses, the PAP supporters are mostly members of the Peoples’ Association.