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RP chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued stay-home notice after return from UK

SINGAPORE — Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary-general of the Reform Party (RP), has to serve a mandatory 14-day stay-home notice which coincides with the General Election campaign period, after his return from the United Kingdom on Thursday (June 25).

On June 24, 2020, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (pictured) appeared in a video on the Reform Party's Facebook page to ask supporters for donations to his party.

On June 24, 2020, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (pictured) appeared in a video on the Reform Party's Facebook page to ask supporters for donations to his party.

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  • For public health reasons, MOH, ELD unable to grant Mr Jeyaretnam's request to waive requirement
  • RP chief can still appoint a representative to file his nomination papers on June 30 to take part in GE
  • Question mark remains over whether Mr Jeyaretnam can still record political broadcasts

 

 

SINGAPORE — Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary-general of the Reform Party (RP), has to serve a mandatory 14-day stay-home notice which coincides with the General Election campaign period, after his return from the United Kingdom on Thursday (June 25).

The 61-year-old told TODAY that he had asked the authorities to waive the requirement, but did not want to say more. The stay-home notice applies to everyone who arrives in Singapore from abroad.

His request, however, was not granted. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) said in joint response to TODAY's queries that they had assessed Mr Jeyaretnam's request but were unable to grant it for public health reasons.

He is thus required to complete the stay-home notice at a designated facility and take a Covid-19 test before the end of the period, similar to all other Singaporeans returning from the UK, they said.

While Mr Jeyaretnam will still be able to appoint an authorised representative through a power of attorney to file his nomination papers on June 30 to take part in the General Election (GE), it is uncertain how his stay-home notice will affect the rest of his campaign before Singapore goes to the polls on July 10

Both MOH and ELD said that they are prepared to grant Mr Jeyaratnam access to the persons needed for him to issue the power of attorney, as well as to make his statutory declaration that the statements made in his nomination papers are true.

When TODAY contacted Mr Jeyaretnam for the response to the authorities' decision, he declined comment.

During a walkabout at the Ang Mo Kio Central Market and Food Centre earlier on Thursday, RP’s chairman Andy Zhu said that Mr Jeyaretnam had plans to return to Singapore even before the GE was announced on Monday.

Mr Jeyaretnam had arrived in Singapore sometime around noon on Thursday, he added. 

Although they were awaiting a response from the authorities, Mr Zhu said that they had “no concerns at the moment”. 

When asked if the party would be making special arrangements for Mr Jeyaretnam to record any political broadcasts, Mr Zhu said that the party would “wait and see”.

TODAY has sought clarification from the authorities on filming arrangements for Mr Jeyaretnam.

In the meantime, the party will continue with its walkabouts and online outreach.

Reform Party members and volunteers during a walkabout at Ang Mo Kio Central Market and Food Centre on June 25, 2020. Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY

Earlier this week, RP announced on Facebook that it intends to contest at Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Radin Mas Single Member Constituency (SMC) and Yio Chu Kang SMC. 

On Wednesday, Mr Jeyaretnam appeared in a video published on the party’s Facebook page, where he asked supporters for donations to the party. He was also part of the party’s live stream last week where seven potential candidates were introduced, including four who ran during the GE in 2015.

Depending on how many candidates the party is nominating for this election eventually, it may be allowed to make two party political broadcasts.

ELD announced on Wednesday that these national television broadcasts are only for parties that field at least six candidates. 

There will be two sessions of party political broadcasts to be aired on July 2 and 9 across 19 television and radio channels this year, and they are both scheduled to take place from 7pm onwards.

The recordings for both broadcasts will be made a day before they go on air.

All parties, however, will be allowed to make a constituency political broadcast. 

This will allow candidates contesting in an SMC to speak for three minutes.

Candidates contesting in GRCs may speak for 12 minutes for four-member GRCs or 15 minutes for five-member GRCs.  

The constituency broadcasts will be aired on Channel 5 between July 3 and 7, and are also scheduled to take place from 7pm onwards.

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Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam stay-home notice Singapore General Election SGVotes2020

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