SINGAPORE - Singapore People's Party (SPP) candidate Lina Chiam has questioned the presence of posters featuring Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Potong Pasir estate where she is contesting, and has asked them to be removed.
"I don't feel threatened, but I think it goes against the essence of the election," she said on Wednesday. "In Potong Pasir there are two of us contesting: Sitoh (Yih Pin) and me. It's only right that (posters of) the two candidates... should be shown because it will be rather confusing for the residents to think that the PM is above everything."
Mr Sitoh is the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate defending the single seat which he won in the previous polls in 2011.
Speaking to reporters following a walkabout t Block 142 Potong Pasir Avenue 3, Mrs Chiam added that posters of Mr Lee "in the whole of Singapore" might confer an unfair advantage to the PAP candidate in each constituency.
She also asked if elections here were moving in the direction of Malaysia's, where "as I understand (Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's) posters are everywhere".
Mrs Chiam had earlier put up photo of a poster featuring PM Lee on her Facebook page with the caption "Is the Prime Minister standing in Potong Pasir SMC?"
"When they see PM, somehow or rather they will vote in a (certain) way," she said. "Which I hope not - I hope residents can use their mind and wisdom to choose whoever they want. It's right in front of my office... If it's Sitoh, it's okay, but it's not Sitoh."
Mrs Chiam, who is the wife of opposition veteran Chiam See Tong, also said it was "rather challenging for the opposition" that the election period coincides with the Chinese seventh month, which has doubled the cost of holding a rally.
She said that a rally held in 2011 had cost her party about $3,000, while she has been quoted at least $4,500 for a rally site this election. This excludes the cost of barricades, which she estimates to bring the final cost up to about $6,000.
"Nonetheless, we will do what we can to make it a success in terms of the campaigning," she said.
This article was first published on Sep 2, 2015.
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