So, the Assistant Returning Officer aka the G has filed police reports against The Independent Singapore (TISG), blogger and Lee Hsien Loong’s best friend Roy Ngerng and former SDP GE candidate Teo Soh Lung for breaching election advertising rules for Cooling-Off Day and Polling Day.
The significance? This is the first time the government is taking action against organisations and individuals since the Cooling-Off Day and Polling Day measures were first instituted in the 2011 General Elections.
According to the Elections Department, election advertising is defined as any material posted on any platform that is intended to enhance the standing of, or promote electoral success for, an identifiable party or candidate. Posting election advertising on Cooling-Off Day and Polling Day is prohibited, as this campaign silence period is meant to give voters time to reflect rationally on issues raised before going to the polls.
Those convicted may be fined up to $1000 and/or jailed up to 12 months.
Jialat liao. The government don’t usually ask people to go lim kopi unless they are cock sure that they have a strong case.
First impressions? Seems like the government is cracking down hard on dissenters – afterall, TSIG, Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung aren’t big fans of the ruling party.
There’s also the question of whether double standards was shown. You may recall that Vivian Balakrishnan was embroiled in some controversy during the 2015 GE over some Facebook post on Cooling-Off Day.
However, Vivian Balakrishnan managed to escape unscathed cause he explained that the problematic Facebook post was uploaded before Cooling-Off Day, and was auto-reposted due to a technical glitch. Facebook also confirmed that a system bug had indeed been responsible. Not too incriminating. Lucky you, Vivian.
We wonder if TISG, Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung can claim that their posts were honest mistakes too. So we pieced together those posts, based on what has been reported in the news, to see if they had indeed contravened election advertising rules.
So these are the posts that got Roy Ngerng into trouble: one Facebook post and one blog post
And here’s what got Teo Soh Lung into trouble: four Facebook posts
Lastly, here’s what got TISG into trouble: three articles
Do these amount to election advertising? You decide.
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