DPM Heng Updates About Impending S’pore General Elections Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

In an alternate universe, you won’t be reading or watching videos about a nasty bug that’s caused even Garden By the Bays to give free staycations.

Instead, you’d be reading about new candidates that could potentially be your next MP, and watching rallies of people cheering and booing.

But unfortunately, our universe is hit by COVID-19, and that’s why the General Elections suddenly become secondary.

General Elections Initially Projected to be Held About NOW

The next General Election must be held on or before 15 April 2021.

And before it can be conducted, a series of things must be done, but one of the most important tasks is the formation of Electoral Boundaries Committee. When that is formed, the committee will come out with the report within two to four months, and the elections would be held shortly.

Based on agakation, once the formation of Electoral Boundaries Committee is announced, we should be seeing an election within six months.

And the formation was announced in September 2019, which means we should be seeing an election before March 2020.

But it’s 12 March 2020, and we’ve not heard anything.


Did the authorities forget about it?

Nope, we’re talking about Ah Gong here. They’ll never forget about anything—not even the book you’ve not returned to NLB.

Instead, the COVID-19 situation has kind of deferred the General Election, though that’s a pretty Captain Obvious statement but Is now confirmed.

At a roundtable organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat mentioned that they are assessing the situation.

He said, “If you have big challenges ahead, then surely you want to be able to spend time on these challenges. Therefore the key question is, will the challenges be greater now or will the challenges be greater a year from now?”

The challenges he referred to are the COVID-19 situation and the impact it has on society.

“So it depends on our assessment of the situation and I’m discussing (this) with the PM. PM will set out his thinking.”

But when would this COVID-19 end?

Well, if he knows, he won’t just be a DPM but a fortune teller. He said that “the situation is so fluid, so dynamic…We need to be able to respond as fully as we can as a country and as a people to this very major uncertainty to our lives as well as our livelihood because we don’t know how the global economy is going to pan out

“We need to be prepared for the worst, and I hope we will have the conditions to allow us to do that. And that will be a very major factor in deciding when we call the election.”

In other words, the focus is now on containing the outbreak and its impact on the economy.

The election matters are still being discussed with the PM.

However, if the elections need to be made when the outbreak is still ongoing (after all, it has to be made before 15 April 2021, remember?), the authorities will be taking measures to protect public health during voting season.

He added, “We need to respect our Constitution and make sure that election rules are properly followed. But if there’s a need for us to adopt measures to achieve the same objective, then we’ll have to look at the appropriate measures that will allow our people to express their views, cast their votes.”

In other words, even if the outbreak lasts till 15 April 2021, we’ll still have an election.