PM Lee has not yet appointed Electoral Boundaries Review Committee: Chan Chun Sing


Sulaiman Daud| July 09, 01:23 AM

Pritam Singh, leader of the Workers' Party (WP), submitted a question to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament on a topic of keen interest to political observers.

Pritam asked:

  • If (PM Lee) can provide an update on whether the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has been formed; and
  • If not, when he intends to establish the EBRC.

What the committee does, and what its appointment means

In Singapore, the EBRC is convened in the months before a general election is slated to take place.

It works on and then releases a report recommending how the boundaries of the electoral divisions in Singapore should be drawn, taking into account changes in population and housing developments.

The release of this report can take place anywhere between two and seven months after it is formed, according to The Straits Times.

In the last election four years ago, it was released on July 25, while polling day was Sept. 11.

Committee hasn't yet been formed

Responding to Pritam's written question on behalf of PM Lee, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service and Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing issued the following response on Monday, July 8:

"The Prime Minister has not yet appointed the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee."

Chan's reply did not respond to the second half of Pritam's question, which is when PM Lee intends to establish the EBRC.

Pritam's second try to find out about the EBRC

This was Pritam's second attempt this year to find out if the EBRC had been formed.

Back in February, Pritam filed another question in Parliament asking the government why it doesn't announce when it is formed, asserting that it is "a waste of Parliament's time, and bordering on an abuse of process" for MPs to have to keep filing questions to try their luck and find out if the committee has been formed yet or not.

He additionally asked if the EBRC could provide a report explaining its decisions to adjust boundaries, collapse SMCs into GRCs or form new ones, and so on.

Chan also said at that point, in response, that it wasn't yet formed.

The minister asserted that the committee should be allowed to "focus on its work professionally, away from unnecessary media attention or public pressures", while adding that "there will be sufficient time" from when the EBRC's report is released to polling day for candidates and political parties "to make their preparations".

Here are some election-related stories and speculation we've done so far:

Top image from Chan Chun Sing's Facebook page and WP's website.