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GE2020: Bukit Batok PAP candidate Murali Pillai calls out ‘scurrilous’ attacks made against his family

SINGAPORE — Shortly after it was declared that the contest for Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC) was on, People’s Action Party candidate and incumbent Murali Pillai took to Facebook on Tuesday (June 30) to address “scurrilous” attacks made against his family regarding his son’s involvement in a court case.

GE2020: Bukit Batok PAP candidate Murali Pillai calls out ‘scurrilous’ attacks made against his family

People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai arriving at Nan Hua High School on Nomination Day, June 30, 2020.

SINGAPORE — Shortly after it was declared that the contest for Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC) was on, People’s Action Party candidate and incumbent Murali Pillai took to Facebook on Tuesday (June 30) to address “scurrilous” attacks made against his family regarding his son’s involvement in a court case.

His opponent, Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan, also spoke out quickly afterwards against the attacks which he said were “not what politics should be”.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Mr Murali said that a post about his son was circulating on social media.

“My son was a victim of a scandal. He also committed offences,” he said.

“The court has dealt with all these matters. The perpetrators behind this scandal have been dealt with, he himself has been dealt with and is serving sentence.”

Mr Murali said that the timing behind this post “leaves nothing to the imagination”.

“Yes, I’m not a perfect father. Yes, families have issues, but no, this thing should not be brought into politics,” he said.

“I’m terribly affected by this but I will not be deterred. I will fight on.”

Mr Murali will face Dr Chee at the polls, after both candidates successfully filed their nomination papers at Nan Hua High School on Tuesday.

Mr Murali beat Dr Chee in the Bukit Batok SMC by-election in 2016, winning 61.2 per cent of the vote. The by-election was called after then-MP David Ong stepped down following an alleged affair.

After Mr Murali put up his video, Mr Chee said in a Facebook post that he has not seen the post that was circulating but has watched Mr Murali’s anguished response to it.

“I stand with Mr Murali on this and call on whoever who did this... to stop it and for others not to circulate it,” he said.

Mr Chee added that while he may disagree with Mr Murali on political views, the pair can have a healthy and professional debate on them,

“But our differences must not be allowed to degenerate into unseemly smears against the candidates and their families,” he said.

“This is not what politics should be. Politics is about ideas on how we can make our nation better, not personal attacks like this.”

Before the writ of election was issued on June 23, the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) had reiterated that candidates should refrain from engaging in “negative campaigning”.

“Candidates and their authorised representatives should conduct election campaigning in a responsible and dignified manner that befits the seriousness of the election process. They should steer away from negative campaigning based on hate and denigration of opposing candidates,” ELD said.

Related topics

Singapore General Election SGVotes2020 Bukit Batok SMC Murali Pillai Chee Soon Juan PAP

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