Response to ST article: Close Call with GE PaperworkPublished: 24th April 2011
The Reform Party’s response to the Straits Times article by Huang Lijie dated 23rd April 2011 entitled: “Reform Party’s close call with GE Paperwork”
The report was incorrect when it was mentioned that there were nine candidates filling in forms. Mr. Alex Tan and Mr. Jay of the Singapore’s People Party were with us together with two other potential Reform Party’s candidates.
Our Secretary-General, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam comes from a background of due diligence. The Reform Party had arranged for a lawyer to visit the party’s office, 24th April to go through the various acts with us to keep us compliant. We have also hired a full time Certified Public Accountant in the office for this period. Unfortunately due to erroneous information, it was originally thought that all required forms were to be filled in on nomination day.
In addition to this, we believe the Elections Department should be independent of the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam and other members of the Reform Party had visited the Elections Department many times for Minority Certificates, nominations forms, CDs and new CD’s as well as the Handbook for Parliamentary Election Candidates. There is no option available for the candidates to submit the forms electronically.
On Saturday 23rd April, when Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam filed in the minority certificate, no one at the elections department made any comment.
The Elections Department does not have a help desk which can provide any guidance for new political parties. Furthermore the costs of the election deposits makes democracy a rich man’s game. The endless restrictions and red tape makes it a system which favours the old, the established and the status quo.
This is in stark contrast to the Registry of Societies, which readily provided guidance on the process of submitting the Reform Party’s new logo and fast-tracked the party’s application so that the Reform Party’s logo would be compliant.
Lastly, we genuinely thank the gentlemen of the Press for alerting us.