Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Prime Minister (a) whether election campaigning is allowed from the day the Writ of Election is issued to Nomination Day; and (b) whether potential candidates for the General Election are allowed to conduct house-to-house visits, or visit markets and coffee shops, to (i) check on residents’ well-being or (ii) explicitly canvass for votes while wearing their party uniforms and badges during this period.
The Minister for Education (Mr Chan Chun Sing) (for the Prime Minister): Mr Speaker, Sir, on behalf of Prime Minister, please.
Our election laws primarily regulate campaigning during the campaign period, which commences from the closure of the place of nomination on Nomination Day and ends at the start of the eve of Polling Day. Outside of the campaign period, the election laws do not prohibit political parties and aspiring candidates from conducting activities, such as house-to-house visits, visiting markets and coffee shops to interact with residents, or to explicitly canvass for votes while wearing their party uniforms and badges. This is assuming that these activities comply with the other laws of the land.
However, there are some restrictions during this period. For example, election advertising must comply with the prevailing publishing requirements and non-Singapore Citizens must not publish or display election advertising.
Mr Speaker: Mr Gerald Giam.
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): I thank the Minister for his reply. Can I clarify with him what is the material difference between the periods as far as campaigning is concerned before: one, the Writ of Election is concerned; two, from the time the Writ of Election is concerned until Nomination Day and; thirdly, from Nomination Day until the day before cooling off day?
And are canvassing for votes and general interaction with residents by potential candidates allowed during each of these periods?
Mr Chan Chun Sing: Mr Speaker, Sir, in response to the last question by Mr Gerald Giam, I have already stated during my answer just now. Anyone can interact with any residents at any time of the year so long as it complies with the laws of the land.
Second, in answer to the first supplementary question that Mr Gerald Giam asked, what is the difference between the period from the Writ of Election to the nomination, the details can be found in the guidebook that we have published. What are some of the key differences? For example, during the election period, there are rules that governs the electoral advertising, what can be done and what cannot be done, as part of electoral advertising. As to the rest of the activities, Mr Giam can also refer to the election guidebook and the rules that apply to the normal course of activities that all of us conduct on a daily basis.
Prime Minister’s Office
21 March 2023