Dr Vivian: Let’s not talk about video anymore

farism
SingaporeScene

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan puts the controversial video featuring SDP candidate Vincent Wijeysingha to rest. (Yahoo! photo/ Faris Mokhtar)

Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has called for a truce.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, the Minister said there is "no need" to further discuss a video which shows Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) candidate, Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, attending a gay forum and talking about gay rights.

Dr Balakrishnan, who will contest the Holland-Bukit Timah against the SDP team led by Dr Wijeysingha, said that he was satisfied with the SDP's video response to his earlier concerns about a possible "gay agenda" should SDP be voted into Parliament.

Dr Vivian said, "His video statements (by SDP chief Chee Soon Juan) were a response to my question, he's answered the question. Let's leave it at that."

When asked if he would bring the matter up again during his team's campaigning, he said, "No. No need. I don't need to go any further with that. Questions was asked, I posed the question, he answered," he added.

However, Dr Balakrishan dismissed that he was employing a "smear tactic" when he brought up the issue, saying "No. This is a legitimate question and he's answered it."

In a statement released on Monday evening, the People's Action Party (PAP) team for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC had called on the SDP and, in particular, its candidate Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, 40, to be upfront about his "political motives", prompting a heated war of words between the two parties.

In a swift video response, SDP chief Dr Chee said that while both parties might have disagreements over policy issues, he called on the Minister not to resort to "personal attacks" and adopting "smear tactics".

Meanwhile, Dr Balakrishnan also rejected calls by the SDP for a public debate, saying that it would just give the SDP an added platform to engage residents.

Explaining that there are no such "shortcuts", he said, "Personally as incumbents, we've been here, our residents know us, we have walked and knocked on every single door in this GRC. A team that has just come together in the last few days and has not done their leg work, the reason they want a debate is because they want a platform to reach out to residents."

Taking a jibe at the SDP's statements that he was rattled by their contest in the GRC, Dr Balakrishnan said, "Do I look rattled?"

Apart from that, he also stressed the choices made by voters will have an impact on the outcome and opportunities for young Singaporeans over at least the next 20 years.

"For a young Singaporean who just graduate today, 20 years is half your working life. So there are some very fundamental choices which Singaporeans will have to make up their minds on, over the next nine to ten days," he said.

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