It was reported in Temasek Times that Subhas Anandan has made an offer of setting up a Legal Bureau at the Hougang Community Club if the PAP candidate wins the Hougang by-election. ( http://temasektimes.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/subhas-anandan-to-offer-free-legal-aid-to-hougang-residents-if-desmond-choo-is-elected/ )

It appears that this information has been taken from a Chinese newspaper. I do not know Mandarin. But, I am given to understand that the article does not actually say that Subhas Anandan will set up a Legal Bureau at Hougang if Desmond Choo wins the by-election.

In fact, I should add that it would be shocking if Subhas Anandan actually made such an assertion as it could run counter to the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap 218):

60. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of the offence of bribery:

(a) every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector or voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or voter or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act on account of that elector or voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Act;

(b) every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives or procures, or agrees to give or procure, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any office, place or employment to or for any elector or voter or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce that elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act on account of that elector or voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Act;

(c) every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement referred to in paragraph ( a) or (b) to or for any person in order to induce that person to procure or endeavour to procure the return of any person as a Member of Parliament, or the vote of any elector or voter at any election under this Act;

Temasek Times ought to have been more careful in reporting the statement considering that it translates into a potential election offence. As we hurtle towards the new reality that more and more people are relying on online news, ‘new media’ must exercise some degree of responsibility in reporting information this like. True. We may put up such info hurriedly. But, if there are errors, we must be willing to acknowledge them. I am given to understand from a friend that the mistake could have been a result of poor translation. Does anyone with a good command of Mandarin care to comment?

Advertisements