Perambulating vehicles resounding throughout S'pore are an important part of S'pore elections

One of the few things that makes GE2020 feel like an election.

Julia Yeo| July 06, 2020, 09:19 PM

If you've been working from home during this general election, you've probably heard the blaring noises of various political parties' perambulating vehicles during the campaign period.

Or if you've missed them, here are a couple of clips:

Here's Reform Party's perambulating vehicle out for campaign:

While some may find them an annoyance when working from home, they definitely add to the "festive" election mood, which has been greatly subdued this year due to the absence of physical rallies.

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Finally saw the @wpsgp lorry in my hood but no sight of Jamus kor-kor leh. Sads. #TheWorkersParty #MakeYourVoteCount #GE2020 #SGElections #Singapore

A post shared by Jo Lee (@joleeqh) on

While it's an old-school method of campaigning, it's still a significant part of the usual election routine.

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Such an old school method of maintaining top-of-mind visibility. But adds colour and excitement in the run-up to polling day. I can’t imagine a GE without these party trucks going around. Simple. Effective. Stirring. 🇸🇬 #makeyourvotecount #noblankcheque #NCMPyeahright #accountability

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The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a much more subdued election this year, with many usual elements absent due to the need to maintain safe distancing and ensure that the general election is conducted safely.

However, the presence of perambulating vehicles resounding throughout neighbourhoods may be one of the few things that still remain a constant during this campaign.

Campaign vehicles a big part of elections

Campaigning on perambulating vehicles have been a large part of Singapore's general election routine since decades ago, stretching to pre-independence days.

1963 election. Ministry of Information and the Arts Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore

Ministry of Information and the Arts Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore

Such campaign practices are also common in other countries such as the United Kingdom and Japan, where campaign buses and sound trucks are routine practice during election campaigns.

A sound truck in Japan. Photo via Wikipedia Commons

However, some may have noticed that the practice of campaigning on perambulating vehicles have been a lot more subdued this year.

With some additional rules for safer campaigning implemented this election, candidates are not allowed to speak, livestream, or broadcast music from the vehicle, but are allowed to broadcast recorded messages.

The rules, implemented by the Elections Department (ELD) in June 2020, are part of measures taken to ensure a safe election amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While election candidates are technically still allowed to stand at the back of their campaign vehicles, they are not allowed to speak in person from the vehicle.

In addition, police permits will not be granted for thank-you vehicular processions after Polling Day as such processions tend to attract crowds.

Perhaps good news for those who appreciate this particularly quiet election, but definitely missed by some who look forward to this one-every-five-years event.

Top image via cecilhamilton/IG, And Hin Kee/FB