GE2020: PAP’s Ong Ye Kung takes down Facebook video that infringed electoral rules
SINGAPORE — Mr Ong Ye Kung from the The People’s Action Party (PAP) has removed a Facebook video of himself chatting with a young boy after he was told by the authorities that it was “not in line with electoral rules”.
SINGAPORE — Mr Ong Ye Kung from the People’s Action Party (PAP) has removed a Facebook video of himself chatting with a young boy after he was told by the authorities that it was “not in line with electoral rules”.
In the video titled “The ‘MOE guy’ vs The Sembawang TripAdvisor” uploaded on Thursday (July 2) afternoon, Mr Ong spoke to the boy about the amenities that his party had introduced to the town.
Mr Ong, PAP’s assistant treasurer, is leading the party’s Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team in the July 10 polls.
In a Facebook post after the video was removed, Mr Ong said of the boy named Jony, who lives in Sembawang: “Jony is a great sport, we had a good chat, and we put up a short (video). However, we have been informed by authorities that this is not in line with electoral rules.
“We have therefore taken down the video. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
Although Mr Ong did not specify which electoral rule the video had violated, the Parliamentary Elections Act prohibits primary and secondary school students from taking part in any election activity during the period beginning with Nomination Day and ending with the start of Polling Day.
“Primary and secondary school students are not allowed to appear in a video or take part in other activities to promote a political party during this period,” the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) wrote on its website.
“While this prohibition does not apply outside of this period, political parties should refrain from inappropriate use of young children who will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to.”
In a press statement sent on Monday, ELD also said that political parties, candidates and voters must not make, produce or distribute party political films.
“Under the Films Act, party political films include films that are made by any person and directed towards any political end in Singapore, such as those intended or likely to affect voting in any election in Singapore,” it said.
There are exceptions, it added.
Films not subject to this rule include live-streamed rallies or campaigning activities, commemorative videos of political parties, factual documentaries or biographies, party manifestos, candidate’s declaration of policies as well as news videos produced by a licensed broadcasting service.
“This ensures that political debate in Singapore is conducted in a responsible and dignified manner,” ELD said.
When contacted, Mr Ong’s media liaison declined comment. TODAY has reached out to the ELD to find out more.
The three-minute video, which was seen earlier by TODAY, had received more than 1,700 likes and 13,500 views before it was deleted about three hours later.
The conversation between Mr Ong and Jony centred around the amenities and services in Sembawang, which then prompted the boy to ask: “Erm, you tell me all of this for what?”
“I’m explaining all of this so that you know if you support us, these are all the things we will deliver to make life better for you,” Mr Ong replies.
At the end of the video, the PAP’s logo appears.
The National Solidarity Party (NSP), which is contesting Sembawang GRC, said it was surprised that Mr Ong had put up the video.
“Out of all the parties, the PAP should know the rules better than anyone else,” said NSP secretary-general Spencer Ng, who is helming the party’s team for the constituency.
He was speaking to TODAY on Friday during a walkabout at Vista Point, a residential mall along Woodlands Drive 44.
He did not get to watch the video before it was taken down but he was aware of the incident.
He took the chance to criticse Mr Ong’s performance as Education Minister, before Parliament was dissolved on June 23.
Among other things, he claimed that the younger generation was “being trained to be administrators and not leaders”.
“This is why the PAP has a problem looking for suitable candidates to be leaders of the country,” he said.