The Elections Department Singapore (ELD) has released an advisory to political parties and candidates to refrain from shouting and chanting party slogans while campaigning.
ELD stated that they were alerted to a several recent incidents of parties and candidates shouting and chanting during walkabouts.
Crowds were also observed to have gathered around during these incidents, without safe distancing of at least one metre in place.
Shouting and chanting could facilitate spread of droplets
To ensure safe distancing, ELD said that they seek the cooperation of parties and candidates to avoid shouting and chanting, as the noise is likely to draw a crowd, "which makes it more challenging to ensure safe distancing".
Such gatherings could also increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission, as shouting and chanting are likely to generate more droplets.
Parties and candidates are expected to remind crowds that form to comply with safe management measures, and leave the area if the crowds do not do so.
"PP&C (Political parties and candidates) are reminded that protecting the health and safety of members of the public – including candidates, supporters and voters – is of utmost importance. ELD calls on all PP&C to be responsible and adhere to safe management measures and the prevailing public health advisories during campaigning."
ELD added that in the presence of opposing parties, confrontations could easily arise.
"PP&C must also ensure that campaigning is done in a lawful and orderly manner, and avoid confrontations with other parties that may easily escalate into disorder. For example, shouting and chanting of party slogans, especially when done in the presence of opposing PP&C and their supporters in a confined area. PP&C should exercise positive leadership and set a good example for the public."
Videos of chanting circulating online
The release of the advisory could have potentially been in response to several videos circulating on social media.
A video posted on July 6 showed large crowds gathering around Progress Singapore Party (PSP) candidates, chanting "Tan Cheng Bock", with another group of people shouting "PAP" in response.
A similar situation occurred on July 4 at Ayer Rajah as well.
Top photo from Abdul Salim Harun / FB