Singapore: Singaporeans vote in snap election under coronavirus cloud | Al Jazeera

Singaporeans started voting in a snap on Friday election with the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) looking to shore up its dominant position on the island it has governed since independence in 1965. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called the election on June 24, saying the PAP, which had 83 of the 89 seats in the last parliament, needed a fresh mandate in order to take Singapore through the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Do not undermine a system that has served you well,” the 68-year-old said on the campaign trail. Many of the earliest voters were the elderly, who were advised to vote when polling stations opened at 8am (00:00 GMT) under strict conditions imposed as a result of the coronavirus. Everyone is required to wear masks, and voters are expected to spend no more than five minutes in a polling station, where they must scan their identity cards, sanitise their hands and put on disposable gloves before receiving a ballot paper. Singapore has 2.65 million eligible voters.

Singapore: Call to be aware of foreign interference risk during elections | Lim Yan Liang/The Straits Times

The Internet has made foreign interference in elections easy and inexpensive to carry out, and it will be foolish for Singapore not to take steps to deal with the threat, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday. Whether it is cultivating political parties or sentiment amplification – such as using fake accounts to push a particular narrative – different methods of interfering in elections are “getting fused” together and employed by various entities, both governments and non-state actors, he added. “The Internet has turbocharged this kind of interference through fake news, through lies, through a variety of disinformation campaigns, through hacking,” he noted. “Many things are happening, and you got to be on top of the game.” Among the nations that said they have been targeted are advanced ones such as the US, Britain, France and Germany, he said. But there are ways to prepare for and counter foreign actors who try to interfere in elections or shape the voting behaviour of an electorate, said Mr Shanmugam.

Singapore: Political parties warned of cybersecurity threats, election interference | Eileen Yu/ZDNet

With general elections expected to be held within a year, Singapore’s political parties have been issued advisories about the threat of foreign interference and cybersecurity threats. They are urged to seek out precautionary measures to safeguard their ICT infrastructure, data, as well as online accounts. The city-state’s Ministry of Home Affairs, Cyber Security Agency, and Elections Department on Monday said there had been many reports of foreign interference over the past few years in elections overseas, including the French presidential and German federal elections in 2017 as well as the US mid-term and Italian general elections in 2018. These were attempts by foreign actors such as other countries, agencies, and individuals to assert influence over elections in a sovereign state, said the Singapore government agencies. “Singapore is not immune and we need to guard against such nefarious activity as we head towards our own General Election, which must be held by April 2021,” they said.

Singapore: Political parties issued advisories on foreign interference and cyber security attacks ahead of next General Election | Linette Lai/The Straits Times

Political parties have been issued advisories on the threat of foreign interference and cyber security attacks ahead of the next general election, with the authorities urging parties to stay vigilant and take precautions to mitigate such risks. “Political parties play an important role in safeguarding the integrity of our general election,” said the Home Affairs Ministry, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and Elections Department in a joint statement on Monday (April 20). “They should enhance their understanding of the threat of foreign interference, and their cyber security posture.” Parties should also learn what they can do to protect their information technology infrastructure, online and social media accounts, and the storage and management of their data, they said. The authorities added that political parties should also monitor their platforms for suspicious activity and not re-share posts or tweets of suspicious provenance.

Singapore: Electronic voter registration on the cards for next General Election | TODAYonline

The Elections Department (ELD) plans to introduce electronic voter registration at the next General Election (GE), with a tender to procure the necessary equipment set to be called later this year. This comes after the Government previously announced plans to pilot e-registration at a few constituencies during the Presidential Election last September. But the effort did not materialise as there was no contest. Responding to TODAY’s queries, an ELD spokesperson said on Tuesday (Sept 11): “If all goes according to plan, we intend to implement this across all polling stations at the next GE.”

Singapore: Foreign interference in Singapore politics, elections ‘cannot be underestimated’: Chan Chun Sing | Channel NewsAsia

Singaporeans must be vigilant about any potential attempts by foreign parties to influence local politics and undermine the democratic process, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (Aug 1). He was responding to questions in Parliament about whether elections in Singapore are vulnerable to foreign interference, particularly with the Presidential Election due in September. “Foreign interference in domestic politics and electoral processes cannot be underestimated and must always be factored into our social and psychological defence,” said Mr Chan.

Singapore: Online voting not feasible for overseas Singaporeans: Chan Chun Sing | The Online Citizen

On 6 April in Parliament, it was decided that online voting for Singaporeans living abroad using the SingPass portal still remained unfeasible due to concerns over authenticity of votes and the privacy of voters. This decision comes in response to queries from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NMP) Dennis Tan with regard to whether online voting will be implemented for overseas Singaporeans. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament that while a system of online voting was considered by the Elections Department, the traditional tried and tested voting method still had the upper hand. Using paper ballots at polling stations still stayed the “simplest and most transparent method of voting that can ensure the integrity and secrecy of our voting process,” according to Mr Chan.

Singapore: Voting at polling stations still ‘most transparent’ method: Chan Chun Sing | Channel NewsAsia

Voting using paper ballots at polling stations is still the “simplest and most transparent method”, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Wednesday (Apr 6). He said this in response to queries on whether online voting for overseas Singaporeans using SingPass was feasible amid security and secrecy concerns of postal voting. “The Elections Department has studied the feasibility of Internet voting for overseas Singaporeans,” he said. “While Internet voting may appeal to some, it has various challenges, like difficulties in authenticating voters, preventing impersonation and ensuring voter secrecy. In addition, there are system reliability issues and security risks such as vulnerability to hacking and cyberattacks.”

Singapore: Governing party secures decisive win | BBC

Singapore’s governing People’s Action Party (PAP) has won a decisive victory in the general election. Results showed the PAP had secured 83 of 89 seats, winning nearly 70% of the ballots cast. The party has won every election since independence in 1965. Patriotic feeling over the death of long-term leader Lee Kuan Yew may have swelled the vote, analysts said. The opposition, running in all constituencies for the first time, had hoped to challenge the PAP’s dominance. But the results were a marked improvement over the 2011 vote for the PAP, when it took 80 of the 87 seats but saw its share of votes drop to an all-time low of 60%.

Singapore: Ruling Party Set to Extend 50-Year Rule as Singaporeans Vote | Bloomberg

Singaporeans headed to the polls with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party expected to handily win re-election even as it faces a contest in every district for the first time since independence. The party that has ruled Singapore for more than five decades will have an indication soon after 8 p.m. how it performed compared to 2011, when it won with its smallest share of the popular vote since 1965. The Elections Department will conduct a sample count, where 100 random ballot papers are counted in each polling station once voting ends. The poll gives Singaporeans a chance to assess how Lee’s administration has fared in tackling issues that hurt it in 2011, including living costs, public transport disruptions and immigration. The PAP moved after that vote to further boost spending on lower-income families and the elderly, and has sought to capitalize on the groundswell of patriotism that followed massive celebrations last month to mark the nation’s modern founding.

Singapore: Singaporeans overseas to vote at 10 polling stations, Dubai the latest addition | The Straits Times

Singapore citizens located overseas will be able to cast their votes for the 2015 General Election at 10 designated overseas polling stations, the Elections Department announced in a press release on Thursday (Sept 3). The Singapore Consulate-General in Dubai will be the newest added to the list, after it was designated an overseas polling station this year. The other overseas polling stations are in London, Tokyo, Beijing, Washington, Hong Kong, Shanghai, San Francisco, New York and Canberra. They are all places where a significant number of Singaporeans are present.

Singapore: Elections Department to conduct sample counts on Polling Day | Channel News Asia

To prevent speculation and misinformation before election results are announced on Sep 11, the Elections Department (ELD) said it will be conducting sample counts after voting ends and releasing the results to the public. This will be done at the start of the counting process at each of the 163 counting centres islandwide, once voting ends at 8pm. A total of 100 ballot papers from each polling station will be randomly picked by a counting assistant in the presence of candidates and their counting agents. The votes will be added up, and weightage given, to account for the difference in the number of votes cast at each polling station. The Assistant Returning Officer will then record the votes. The sample count for each constituency will be broadcast and published on the ELD website, while counting continues.

Singapore: Snap election to be held on Sept 11 | Borneo Post

Singapore would hold a snap general election on Sept 11, officials said yesterday, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sought a new mandate from voters worried over immigration and the high cost of living. Despite a slowing economy, the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has ruled for more than 50 years thanks to strict political controls and Singaporeans’ rising affluence, is expected to keep its overwhelming majority in parliament against a fragmented opposition. But the party will be under pressure to improve on its electoral performance in 2011, when it won just 60 percent of votes cast — its lowest-ever share — despite retaining 80 of the 87 seats in a block-voting system. It will be the first election without the prime minister’s hugely influential father, independence leader Lee Kuan Yew, who died in March.

Singapore: The lines in the sand – redefining the GRC system | The Online Citizen

Equal and fair citizenship is a concept which originated from the political doctrine of Aristotle, undergoing permutations in that it does not necessarily pertain to individuals possessing a direct involvement in governance; instead, it embodies an amalgamation of rights accorded to citizens within legislation which exists as the basis and framework for ensuring vibrant socio-political activity. As an applied principle, this means that policies created with the intent of upholding equal opportunity and fair participation should not disenfranchise any community within society. With the General Elections just around the corner, there has been an increased focus on policies that many consider contentious. Prevailing concerns revolve around the seemingly self-serving redrawing of the boundaries which define constituencies across the island-state by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), whose members occupy a distinct majority of seats in parliament, and the framework within which voting ensues, with emphasis on the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system. Typically, the lines that demarcate Singapore’s constituencies are modified every four years just before General Elections are due, at the advice of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC). Members of this entity are appointed by the Prime Minister and collaborate with the Elections Department, which operates under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Singapore: Singapore: Non-voters’ names to be expunged from register | TODAYonline

Eligible voters who failed to cast their votes in the Presidential Election last month will have their names expunged from the Registers of Electors in accordance with Section 26 of the Presidential Elections Act. Non-voters will lose their eligibility to vote or stand as a candidate at future elections if their names are not restored to the Registers of Electors.

Checking of non-voter names that will be expunged from the Registers of Electors can be done from September 27 onwards via the eServices at www.elections.gov.sg, or at the Elections Department and community centres/clubs. The restoration of non-voters’ names to the Registers of Electors will close once the Writ of Election is issued for the next election.

Singapore: Presidential election won by Tony Tan | BBC News

Singapore’s former deputy prime minister Tony Tan has won the country’s presidential election by a narrow margin. The result was announced after a recount between Tony Tan and fellow front-runner Tan Cheng Bock.

Tony Tan, 71, was seen as the preferred candidate of the governing People’s Action Party, which has run Singapore since independence. Singapore’s presidency is a largely ceremonial position. The election was the first of its kind for 18 years.

Singapore: Presidential election goes to recount | M&C

Singapore’s first contested presidential election in nearly two decades went into a recount of votes early Sunday morning due to a knife-edge fight between the two leading contenders. The ballot is regarded as a further test of support for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party (PAP), which posted its worst result since 1965 in the May general election.

Medical doctor and former PAP legislator Tan Cheng Bock, 71, and former deputy prime minister Tony Tan, 71, emerged as the two candidates with the most votes, said the elections department.

Singapore: Singaporeans will vote for Tan, but which one? | CNN.com

Singapore’s presidential candidates may all share the same name — the common Chinese surname of Tan — but with four candidates now officially in the race, this presidential election is the most contested in Singapore’s history.
Singapore is a nation that’s been ruled by one party since its independence in 1965. But the recent general election showed a growing interest by Singaporeans in politics and some point to a growing willingness of Singaporeans to speak out.

According to presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, “People are more open now in expressing their views against the government. In the past they were a bit apprehensive about being open. But now I think the election showed they are prepared to share their anger” he said, over the government’s economic policies. He said the Internet, and movements in other countries like the “Arab spring” has had an effect on Singaporeans too.

Singapore: 2.27 Million qualify to vote for new President | Channel NewsAsia

Slightly more than 2.27 million Singaporeans are eligible to vote in the forthcoming Presidential Election if there is a contest. The Elections Department said the 2,274,773 eligible voters are fewer than the 2.35 million eligible voters in the May 2011 General Election.

That’s because of the nearly 140,000 voters who did not cast their votes in May, just over half have had their names restored on the Register of Electors. Another 5,500 overseas Singaporeans will also be eligible to vote at the nine overseas polling centres.

Singapore: Writ of Election from Singapore Presidential Election expected Aug 3 | Channel NewsAsia

Candidates aspiring to contest the forthcoming Presidential Election can expect the Writ of Election to be issued anytime from August 3. This is going by the fact that the Elections Department has set August 3 as the cut-off date to complete two matters:

Firstly, to remove from any Register of Electors the name of any person where the Registration Officer believes that the address of that person as shown in the register has ceased to exist.