Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Punggol East By-election: SDA Online Rally

SDA rolls out Singapore's first "online rally"
By Hetty Musfirah, Channel NewsAsia, 21 Jan 2013

In an elections first, the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) has conducted Singapore's first "online rally", in a series of videos uploaded onto video-sharing site YouTube.

"The SDA has always been a leader in innovation. In the 2011 General Election, we were the first to have a live SMS Q&A segment in our rallies. Today, we are the first in the history of Singapore to do an online rally to reach you in the comfort of your homes and offices," said Harminder Pal Singh, before introducing Punggol East by-election candidate Desmond Lim.

Speaking for about two-and-half minutes, Mr Lim urged voters to vote for the individual candidate and not someone with the backing of a dominant party. He said such backing cannot guarantee loyalty and performance of the candidate.

He said that at the end of the day, it all boils down to the character of a candidate to get things done.

Mr Lim added that history has shown that being backed by a dominant party will not prevent the candidate from making mistakes.

"At the end of the day when the fanfare is over, what counts is the individual. The individual and his values is what you should be voting for, for history has shown that big backing has not prevented major falls from surfacing. It is the person's commitment, his values, his strengths and his persistence that will keep your dreams alive."

The SDA said that it will be posting at least 10 video clips throughout its campaign to reach out to voters online.

Party chief attacks PAP and WP
In video, Desmond Lim pledges to check both in Parliament if elected
By Toh Yong Chuan, The Straits Times, 22 Jan 2013

SINGAPORE Democratic Alliance candidate (SDA) Desmond Lim has attacked both the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) and Workers' Party (WP) for letting voters down.

"Big names cannot guarantee loyalty and performance," said the SDA chief in an online video released on YouTube yesterday.

In the six-minute clip, he set himself apart from the PAP and the WP by pledging to check both parties in Parliament, if elected.

He said: "Why restrict the voices in Parliament to two? Where is the system of checks and balances with two dominant parties in action?"

He pleaded with Punggol East voters to look beyond the small size of his party and support him for his commitment, stressing that he did not bail out of the ward despite his poor showing in the 2011 General Election.

The video last night is the first in a series the SDA promised to put online in what it billed as Singapore's first online election rally.

The party posted a second video last night. In it, Mr Lim pitched himself as the only candidate in the by-election with the experience to run Punggol East town council, if elected.

Mr Lim, a former protege of veteran opposition MP Chiam See Tong, was a town councillor at Potong Pasir.

More videos on health care, housing, public transport and education policies are in the pipeline, said Mr Lim. The party produced the series of clips instead of holding a rally to save money. But the first instalment last night was delayed by about 90 minutes. It came online at 7.30pm, not 6pm as announced.

Mr Lim told reporters his campaign team will ensure the distribution of videos does not run foul of election laws. In 2011, rules were relaxed on political campaigning on the Internet and social media during election time.

At 10pm yesterday, the videos attracted more than 800 views.

Armed with the videos, Mr Lim's green-shirted volunteers will invite residents today to view the clips on smartphones by scanning barcodes on fliers or using Bluetooth wireless technology.

Aside from the videos, Mr Lim continued his campaign offline.

Yesterday, he greeted residents at Kangkar LRT station in the morning, visited HDB flats and distributed fliers outside North Spring Primary in the afternoon.

There, he crossed paths with Reform Party candidate Kenneth Jeyaretnam and they locked arms in a display of solidarity. He told reporters he encouraged Mr Jeyaretnam not to be intimidated and distracted by the threats the latter had received. "I have been through it before," he said.

Mr Jeyaretnam told The Straits Times that he appreciated Mr Lim's encouragement, adding: "It was kind of him."

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