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GE2020: IMDA refutes Reform Party chief’s claims that it wasn’t given due notice of broadcast recording

SINGAPORE — The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Monday (July 6) refuted Reform Party (RP) chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s claim that it had not given due notice to the party for its constituency political broadcast.

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (pictured) appearing in a video on the Reform Party's Facebook page on June 24 to ask supporters for donations to his party.

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (pictured) appearing in a video on the Reform Party's Facebook page on June 24 to ask supporters for donations to his party.

SINGAPORE — The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) refuted Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s claim that it had not given due notice to the party for its constituency political broadcast.

In a statement on Monday (July 6), IMDA also said it was untrue that Mr Jeyaretnam was not allowed to record the broadcast because he was serving a stay-home order after returning from the United Kingdom. Stay-home orders are meant to stem the spread of imported Covid-19 infections.

In a video posted on social media early Sunday morning, Mr Jeyaretnam said that Reform Party received an email from the agency on the afternoon of July 1, the day before the party’s candidates were to report at 10am for the recording.

Constituency political broadcasts, aired on free-to-air TV, radio and online, allow candidates in five-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) 15 minutes of airtime.

Reform Party’s broadcast for Ang Mo Kio GRC on July 3 featured only two of its five candidates, Mr Charles Yeo, 30, and Ms Noraini Yunus, 52.

Their teammates, namely Mr Jeyaretnam, 61, party chairman Andy Zhu, 37, and Mr Darren Soh, 52, did not take part.

IMDA said that all political parties were briefed on the broadcasts on June 26.

They were advised on matters such as the format and recording schedules, which were planned for July 2 to 4. The parties were also told that recording slots would be confirmed after Nomination Day on June 30.

“Representatives from Reform Party were present and no concerns were raised,” IMDA said.

It added that it sent the recording schedules to all political parties on July 1. IMDA also said that it had reached out to Reform Party’s representatives via email and phone, and they had acknowledged receipt.

“No queries or concerns were raised,” IMDA said.

In his video, Mr Jeyaretnam said that he was told he could not make his speech from a remote location.

IMDA said that this was not true and it had never received such a request from Mr Jeyaretnam.

The Reform Party chief said that most of its candidates are ordinary Singaporeans who sometimes find it hard to get out of obligations at short notice.

He said that he emailed IMDA to ask if the recording could be postponed until 4pm, as a candidate was available only from that time.

“I also asked whether it could be put back half an hour, so that our chairman (Mr Zhu) could get there. They said no,” he said.

Offering its version of events, IMDA said that 30 minutes before Reform Party’s recording slot on July 2, the party sent an email requesting a postponement.

“Two Reform Party representatives were already present on location, and they proceeded with their… recording.

“It was not possible to reschedule, as postponement would impact the recording for other parties and candidates,” IMDA said.

The agency said all other parties and candidates were able to record their broadcasts according to the rules and their allotted slots.

Apart from Ang Mo Kio GRC, Reform Party is contesting the Radin Mas Single Member Constituency.

Related topics

SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election Kenneth Jeyaretnam Reform Party IMDA political broadcast

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