Ong Ye Kung removes video with Sembawang boy

This article is more than 12 months old

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has removed from his Facebook page a three-minute video featuring a young boy living in Sembawang, after being informed the video violated election rules.

He said in a Facebook post yesterday: "I had a nice conversation with a boy Jony who lives in Sembawang about how it is a good place to grow up. Jony is a great sport, we had a good chat, and we put up a short (video).

"However, we have been informed by authorities that this is not in line with electoral rules. We have therefore taken down the video. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused."

The Parliamentary Elections Act prohibits primary and secondary school students from taking part in election activities between Nomination Day and Polling Day. This means they are not allowed to appear in a video or take part in activities to promote a political party during this period.

"While this prohibition does not apply outside of this period, political parties should refrain from inappropriate use of young children who will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to," the Elections Department website says.

Mr Ong is running for re-election in Sembawang GRC. The video shows him talking to Jony, a boy in school uniform, who lives in Sembawang Crescent.

"What are the places in Sembawang that you like?" Mr Ong asks him. He replies he likes Canberra Park, the beach and the hot springs park.

Mr Ong then says "there was nothing" in the area before Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak decided to "make this into a nice park".

He also explains the concept of Built-to-Order Housing Board flats to Jony."Sembawang is growing, with more and more people moving into Sembawang, because it is a happening place, it is a fun place. I'm explaining all this to you so that you know, if you support us, these are all the things we will deliver and make life better for you."

"But what if you guys don't get elected?" Jony asks Mr Ong, who replies: "Good point."

The video ends with "Sayang Sembawang" and "Make Sembawang Special" before the People's Action Party logo is shown. - THE STRAITS TIMES