If I was a Presser for the Whites…

Kubo Loh Hidenobu
3 min readJul 8, 2020

When I was younger, I loved reading the Forum section of newspapers. Public responses (particularly apologies, hopefully not a case of schadenfreud) have always interested me and this General Elections has got me rubbing my hands in glee.

Like most elections, GE 2020 has it fair share of controversy surrounding its candidates. The potential PAP candidate, Ivan Lim faced enormous backlash and subsequently withdrew due to allegations surrounding his demeanour and behaviour at work and during his reservist commitments. When the campaign hit midpoint, WP’s Raeesah Khan faced accusations of “promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion or race” when a police report was lodged over her social media posts in 2018 and 2020.

In both instances, statements were released by the PAP. The party released a statement on behalf of Ivan Lim, which addressed the allegations and stated that he intended to continue running (he didn’t). In response to Ms Khan’s apology and WP’s doorstep interview, the party also released a statement with their opinion on the issue.

I felt that both statements could have been worded better and spun to the PAP’s advantage. From my observations, I saw mainly negative responses but ultimately, I reserve my judgement as I am not a Public Relations/Communications practitioner and hence, unable to qualify and judge the actual sentiment of Singaporeans.

Inspired (and highly impressed) by a rewriting of Ivan Lim’s response I saw on Reddit, I attempted to craft one of my own when the PAP released their statement on the Raeesah Khan matter.

One of the Walker’s Party’s candidates for Sengkang GRC is being investigated for criminal offences, including an offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race.

The WP’s Secretary General said yesterday that his Party would review the matter after the General Election. Mr S. added that Ms R. would meanwhile continue with her campaign in Sengkang.

As this is a matter under investigation by the Singapore Police Force, we respect the WP’s view in reserving comment until the investigation is over and like all Singaporeans, for their party to indeed review the matter after the GE.

The Party Action People believes in a Singapore united in belief, regardless of race, language and religion. Hence, we reserve our comment on this matter as well and trust that investigations by the Singapore Police Force would shed light to the Public on this matter. We also urge the public to focus on the pressing issues on hand this election — Our Lives, Our Jobs, Our Future.

I felt this was much easier to swallow. Although I went with the soft approach, removed all accusations, and acknowledged the apology; I reminded the WP to be accountable to all Singaporeans. Additionally, I spoke about trusting the investigations to demonstrate a confidence in the system that the Government has built over the years — one that is efficient, fair, and orderly. At the end, I called for a refocus on the party’s election slogan, to demonstrate tenacity and commitment.

I would never be able to fully tell if the PAP’s intent behind this statement was to divide and conquer. But for me, I just wrote them with an intention of not being hated, showing some humility, and not fall trap to potentially promoting more enmity amongst Singaporeans.

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