Nomination Day crowd of Lee Hsien Loong's supporters

Speaking to state media Straits Times, the former head of Election Department (ELD) Lee Sen Hup claimed that the election commission does not need to be independent to be neutral. The former high ranking civil servant justified the corruption that making the ELD report to the Prime Minister means having more public resources at it’s disposal:

“Whatever you do… cynics will cast doubt…What’s most important is, you must have the trust of the people. You must be seen as impartial, trust also boils down to the civil service’s integrity. Being under the Prime Minister’s Office gives the ELD clout to get support from other ministries. We can mobilise resources of the public service to help run elections.”

The current head of ELD Koh Siong Ling accused younger Singaporeans for being more demanding when the public calls for more accountability and transparency in the way the dictatorship holds it’s election:

“One challenge we face is demographics. On one hand, we have a very young and demanding electorate… If you are used to being able to do many things on mobile devices, how can our services be on your level? On the other hand, we have an ageing population… something we have already started but will continue to look at, is providing barrier-free access to polling stations.”

A former election official, Tan Boon Huat, also defended the ELD’s notorious history of disqualifying Opposition contestants:

“Our job is not to disqualify people but, in this case, unfortunately, they disqualified themselves. Papers must be filled in without blanks, witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths. Otherwise, it must be filled in again, with a new commissioner stamp.”