PAP posters in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC found damaged

TODAY reports: A police report has been lodged and investigations are in progress, police say.

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SINGAPORE: In what appears to be the first instance of mischief in this year’s General Election, at least six posters put up along Sengkang East Way by the People’s Action Party (PAP) were found torn on Wednesday (Sep 2).

Mr Xu Rong Fu, 41, a resident from the area who alerted TODAY said that he spotted the torn posters when he passed by a petrol kiosk at around 9am.

According to Mr Xu, who is self-employed, a policeman was also at the scene in the morning, but when he returned to the area around noon, the damaged posters had been replaced.

In response to TODAY’s queries, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, who is part of the PAP team contesting in the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representative Constituency (GRC), confirmed that the damaged posters — which were within his Punggol Central ward — had been replaced.

“We believe that this is an isolated incident. Such actions are uncalled for. We hope it will not happen again,” he said today. The police have also confirmed that a report was lodged and investigations are in progress.

But as vandals damaged the PAP posters, the opposition party contesting the GRC, Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), told TODAY that they were not aware of the damaged posters until they were asked to comment on the matter.

“In politics, anything can happen. Sometimes actions happen below board as a means to distract parties and the voters. We experienced the same in 2011, so this is not new to me,” SDA candidate for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Mr Desmond Lim said to TODAY. “The key here is to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize.”

During the hustings in the last General Election, both PAP and opposition parties were hit by a wave of vandals who defaced or removed political posters and banners.

On Labour Day 2011, the then-PAP team contesting in Aljunied GRC discovered that banners and posters put up along roads and campaign vehicles had either gone missing or were smeared with paint. According to the election agent for then-Foreign Minister George Yeo, 30 posters had disappeared and 29 were vandalised, while three banners had to be replaced.

Then-National Solidarity Party candidate Steve Chia, who was contesting in the Pioneer Single Member Constituency (SMC), had complained about “missing” posters in the area. Some had speculated that the campaigning material could have been removed by souvenir hunters.

It was later reported that year that police apprehended three vandals responsible for defacing election posters, with the culprits being fined between S$200 and S$400 each.

Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, it is an offence for any person to alter, remove, destroy, obliterate or deface any election posters or banners. The punishment for such an offence is a fine not exceeding S$1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.

Read the original TODAY report here.

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