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

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

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: The Elections Department (ELD) confirmed on Monday (Aug 31) that it received complaints during the General Election that Workers' Party's (WP) Dennis Tan's campaign posters were below the 2.2m height requirement.

The department was responding to Hougang Member of Parliament (MP) Mr Tan, who said in Parliament on Monday afternoon that a resident had seen some of his campaign posters being "pulled down" from their original height during the General Election.

Mr Tan added that two complaints were made to the ELD during the General Election about his posters.

"Part of the first complaint included 13 allegations about my election posters being below the requisite height of 2.2m. With respect, my experienced volunteers were puzzled as they were all very sure that they had installed the posters at the right height," he said.

After the first complaint, Mr Tan said his volunteers “inspected and made the necessary rectifications”. But two days later, a second complaint was filed comprising similar claims.

He said this was "even more puzzling", adding that a resident had told him that she had "witnessed" the People's Action Party (PAP) team allegedly pulling down his posters from the original height.

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ELD RESPONDS

"In Mr Dennis Tan’s case, ELD confirms that both complaints related to his posters were because they were below the 2.2m height requirement. This is to ensure that posters do not obstruct the line of sight for motorists," said the department in response to media queries.

When the department receives such complaints, it will ask the election agent to rectify the posters within three hours, "regardless of (the) political party", it said.

"If this is done, no further action will be taken. In most cases, rectifications were done within the three hour timeframe and no further action was taken.

"This was also the case for the complaints relating to Mr Dennis Tan’s posters. ELD notes that Mr Tan has acknowledged in Parliament that ELD has been 'even-handed' in handling complaints received."

In response to Mr Tan's allegation that a resident had seen the PAP team pulling down his posters from the original height, the ELD said it was a "serious allegation" but it has not received "any such report" from Mr Tan.

"Mr Tan should file a report with ELD so that this can be investigated,” the department said.

The ELD said it received more than 220 feedback and complaints from members of the public as well as political parties relating to posters and banners put up by candidates and political parties for the General Election this year. 

The breaches included posters and banners being within 50m of a polling station, not in possession of the Returning Officer’s stamp and below the 2.2m height requirement.  

Source: CNA/aa(mi)

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