Dennis Tan should substantiate 'serious allegation' that PAP moved WP's GE2020 posters: Chan Chun Sing

Dennis Tan should substantiate 'serious allegation' that PAP moved WP's GE2020 posters: Chan Chun Sing

Campaign poster, Hougang SMC, Jun 30, 2020
A poster showing Worker's Party candidate Dennis Tan, seen along Hougang Avenue 5 on Jun 30, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Thursday (Sep 3) called on Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dennis Tan to substantiate the allegation that representatives from the People's Action Party (PAP) had moved the WP's election campaign posters.

Mr Tan, who is MP for Hougang, told Parliament on Monday that a resident said she saw a PAP team doing that. 

"During the election, one resident told me that she had witnessed the PAP team moving our posters from their original height. She showed me where they allegedly took place, and I had no reason to doubt what she said," Mr Tan said. 

Calling it a "serious allegation", Mr Chan said in Parliament: "Anyone who makes such allegations publicly should substantiate their allegations with evidence, more so when such allegations are made in this House.

"And in the spirit of constructive politics that we discussed in recent days in this House, it cannot be that a member stands up to raise doubts, and does not follow through to substantiate his allegations."

READ: Workers' Party's Dennis Tan GE2020 campaign posters drew complaints over height requirements, says ELD amid tampering claim

Mr Tan had said on Monday that two complaints were made to the Elections Department (ELD) during the July General Election about his posters being below the required height of 2.2m.

ELD confirmed later that day that the complaints were related to the height requirement, which was put in place to ensure that posters do not obstruct the line of sight for motorists.

ELD WILL INVESTIGATE THOROUGHLY AND IMPARTIALLY: CHAN CHUN SING

Speaking at the start of Thursday's parliamentary sitting, Mr Chan said that the ELD takes all such allegations seriously, and will investigate them "thoroughly and impartially".

He noted that when Mr Tan was "challenged" in Parliament by PAP MP Murali Pillai over the comments, Mr Tan had "acknowledged that ELD has been 'even-handed' in handling complaints received from all political parties and candidates".

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Mr Chan also said that the ELD has not received a report from Mr Tan on the matter.

"In its press statement on Aug 31, ELD invited him to file a report so that it could investigate the matter," Mr Chan told Parliament.

"Mr Tan has replied to ELD on Sep 2 that he did not make a report to ELD during the GE as he was focusing on his election campaign and he had no plans to do so now."

The ELD had also explained in its statement that its enforcement approach when it receives such complaints is to ask the election agent to rectify the posters in breach of the rules within three hours.

CNA has contacted Mr Tan for comment.

"ELD takes all such allegations seriously, and will investigate them thoroughly and impartially," said Mr Chan. "This is to be fair to all parties involved, protect the integrity of the election processes, and continue to uphold trust in our elections."

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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