An online petition calling for the People's Action Party's (PAP) youngest candidate, Tin Pei Ling, 27, to be fielded in a Single Member Constituency (SMC) instead of a Group Representative Constituency (GRC), has surfaced online on Tuesday.
The petition, created by a person named Ti Kiang Heng on Monday, has gathered over 1,200 signatures. It requires users to submit a name and email address and included a special request for non-Singapore citizens to not sign the petition.
In the post, the petition originator said 'Singaporeans are genuinely concerned about undeserving candidates being inducted into parliament, not on their own merit, but rather on the back of established MPs of the ruling party in some GRCs'.
Ti also expressed 'deep concerns about Ms Tin Pei Ling's credentials and quality to stand as a PAP candidate for the upcoming election'.
The petition originator emphasised that it was not representative of an opposing view, but one that stems from concern for the quality of election candidates, citing the example of Tin's lacklustre performance when she was interviewed during her introduction as a PAP candidate.
It said, 'when she was asked by a reporter what her greatest regret was, Tin replied that her greatest regret thus far was not being able to bring her parents to the Universal Studio. We were appalled by her poorly conceived response that lacked judgment, perspective and discretion'.
Among the people who signed the petition was Eric Lim, who said, "Place her in SMC and let the people decide. $15,000 a month for this kind of standard?"
Added Wong S. K., "Please let Ms Tin stand on her own two feet. If Singaporeans pick her, then she is worth the $15,000 salary."
However, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong defended the party's decision to field her.
Speaking at the Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum 2011 at NUS, PM Lee said, "As far as the Web is concerned, all the flaming, that's the way it is but unfortunately in Singapore, people get carried away. Vitriol....doesn't add anything, no credit to debate, to people doing that or raise quality of debate."
"As for Tin Pei Ling, we first noticed her in this (NUS) hall in 2007 when we had a party convention. She was one of the speakers and she impressed the audience. We made the right decision. It looks like she's going to MacPherson and she'll be a good MP in due course."