Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Circuit breaker exit: Several opposition parties to resume walkabouts, house visits immediately when Phase 2 starts

SINGAPORE — After halting their outreach efforts for eight weeks due to the Covid-19 circuit breaker, several opposition parties are restarting their walkabouts and house visits this weekend, including on Friday — the same day Singapore moves into the second phase of its circuit breaker exit.

A Singapore Democratic Party walkabout at Bukit Timah Food Centre earlier in January this year. Several opposition parties are restarting their walkabouts and house visits this weekend, including on Friday — the same day Singapore moves into the second phase of its circuit breaker exit.

A Singapore Democratic Party walkabout at Bukit Timah Food Centre earlier in January this year. Several opposition parties are restarting their walkabouts and house visits this weekend, including on Friday — the same day Singapore moves into the second phase of its circuit breaker exit.

SINGAPORE — After halting their outreach efforts for eight weeks due to the Covid-19 circuit breaker, several opposition parties are restarting their walkabouts and house visits this weekend, including on Friday — the same day Singapore moves into the second phase of its circuit breaker exit.

Members from at least four parties — the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), the Reform Party (RP), the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — will be heading out to several places across the island to distribute flyers and greet residents.

People’s Voice is in the midst of making plans to organise community and house visits this weekend, though these have not been confirmed yet.

However, residents would not be seeing the usual scene of party leaders with an entourage in tow, as the parties would only be doing their outreach in groups of no more than five — in line with the general limit on gatherings in place for Phase Two.

The multi-ministry task force convened to manage the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore announced on Monday that social activities allowed to resume, such as dining in, are limited to a maximum of five people.

The Elections Department has yet to lay down the rules for campaigning when the General Election (GE) is called.

Nevertheless, earlier this month, it announced rules to ensure safe elections during a pandemic, as well as changes to online advertising laws aimed at increasing transparency and accountability during the GE, which must be called by April 2021.

Mr Ben Pwee and Mr Damanhuri Abas of the SDP posted on their Facebook pages on Wednesday (Jun 17) that they would start walking the ground again.

Mr Damanhuri would be at Marsiling Yew-Tee Group Representation Constituency (GRC) from Friday, while Mr Pwee would be visiting Yuhua market on Sunday morning.

“With Phase Two announced to begin this Friday, we will be back in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC the very same day to restart whatever possible engagements with residents we had to abandon during the circuit breaker,” said Mr Damanhuri on his Facebook page.

A new face of the party, Ms Min Cheong, also posted on her Facebook that she would be doing her walkabout on Sunday morning at Ghim Moh market, which is situated within Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

The party’s chairman Paul Tambyah and Mr Pwee would also be there on Saturday afternoon, she added.

RP chairman Andy Zhu told TODAY that he and his fellow party members would be doing their walkabout at West Coast Market Square on Friday evening.

There will be seven party members in the walkabout, which he will divide into two groups, and ensure that they do not mix with each other.

The members will also adhere to safe distancing guidelines and refrain from shaking hands with residents, Mr Zhu said. 

“I believe everybody is sensitive at this moment and it won’t look nice to sanitise your hand after every handshake. So we will also observe the 1m social distancing rule and we will talk to residents if they allow,” he added.

The DPP will be doing its walkabout at Shunfu Market on Sunday morning.

The party’s secretary-general Hamim Aliyas said that the party members would also avoid hand-shakes and would bring along hand sanitisers for hygiene purposes.

Mr Steve Chia, who is SPP’s secretary-general, said that party members will be distributing flyers to inform residents in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC of their intent to contest.

“As we are in the blind, not knowing when Parliament will be dissolved, and how many days there are till Nomination Day, we want to do our best to create awareness of SPP’s aspirations to build a stronger alternative voice and a better tomorrow for Singaporeans,” he said.

Despite being able to resume their outreach efforts, some party members told TODAY that the limit on the size of the group, while understandable, would create some challenges.

For one, they would not be able to cover as much ground in the same amount of time as before, said Mr Hamim. 

Mr Zhu said that apart from the designated members taking part in the outreach activities, it could be challenging to control the number of other members or supporters who turn up as well.

“I have told them that we will have to remain in groups of five, if they decide to come down,” he said.

He also noted that some residents may be reluctant to interact with party members amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is keeping its cards close to its chest.

On whether it would resume its walkabouts and house visits this weekend, a PAP spokesperson would only say that the party “will adhere strictly to the multi-ministry task force advisory for Phase Two of the post-circuit measures in the conduct of any activities with public interaction”.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, we reported that SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan would take part in a walkabout at Ghim Moh market on June 20. This was incorrect. It should have been Mr Ben Pwee, not Dr Chee, who would be taking part along with other SDP members. We are sorry for the error.

Related topics

Singapore Democratic Party Reform Party Singapore People’s Party Democratic Progressive Party SGVotes2020

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.