Opposition parties suspend voter outreach as outbreak escalates
The ruling PAP will also make adjustments to its outreach activities and may explore different formats
Several opposition parties have suspended voter outreach activities in light of the escalating virus outbreak and new social distancing restrictions announced on Tuesday.
The Workers' Party (WP) announced in a statement on its website yesterday that it will temporarily suspend all house visits.
The party had earlier scaled back some outreach activities, including suspending the sale of its newsletter and limiting the number of people at house visits.
Its MPs and town councillors from Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will continue to inspect their respective estates and serve residents with the help of one or two volunteers, staff members or non-constituency MPs.
"Our residents' welfare and safety are our utmost priority," the party said, urging people to cooperate with the authorities and take the measures seriously.
Both the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Progress Singapore Party (PSP) have also suspended outreach activities.
SDP said it will stop house-visits and walkabouts until further notice and will resume its outreach campaign as soon as circumstances permit.
PSP said it will review the situation in due course and decide when activities can be resumed.
"Clear guidelines on how we should conduct our activities when we resume will be communicated to all our members," it told The New Paper.
PSP had taken precautions at earlier walkabouts and house visits, taking temperatures, scaling down teams and keeping a distance from residents.
Singapore People's Party chairman Jose Raymond said he works with a very small team while doing groundwork in Potong Pasir SMC, where he is contesting, and they have stopped knocking on doors.
There are also no major community-based events planned in this period in Potong Pasir.
"This is also the case in all the other areas in which we have announced our plans to contest - Bishan-Toa Payoh, Marymount and Mountbatten," Mr Raymond told TNP.
Meanwhile, the ruling People's Action Party will abide by the guidelines the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force has imposed and will make adjustments to its usual outreach activities, said a spokesman.
This would include exploring different formats for upcoming activities when necessary.
In Parliament on Wednesday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said that in putting out the new social distancing measures, the task force wanted to restrict any activity that brought about congregations of more than 10 people.
All organisations and political parties have to abide by these guidelines and make adjustments, Mr Wong said in response to WP chief Pritam Singh, who noted that political outreach had been stepped up after the release of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report earlier this month.
The next election must be held by April next year.