GE2020: Bukit Batok candidate’s claim family under ‘attack’ meets skepticism

Murali Pillai speaks in a video posted yesterday. Images: Murali Pillai/Facebook
Murali Pillai speaks in a video posted yesterday. Images: Murali Pillai/Facebook

A People’s Action Party candidate complained yesterday that his son has come under “attack” online after he registered his candidacy for the Bukit Batok SMC.

Murali Pillai said the alleged attack on his son’s legal problems – for which he said he’s currently incarcerated – spread online yesterday after he officially became a contender for the same seat sought by Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party. 

“A post is now circulating about my son. My son was a victim of a scandal, he also committed offenses. The court has dealt with all these matters,” he wrote. “The perpetrators behind the scandal have been dealt with, he himself has been dealt with and is serving sentence.”

Murali, who has two sons, did not elaborate further. No reference to any criminal proceedings against them could readily be found. Pillai could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning. But asked by reporters about it earlier today, the 52-year-old candidate said he wants to “move on.”

It is not clear where the referenced post appeared, and attempts to find evidence of it were unsuccessful. 

That led to skepticism about his statement.

“What post? You expect us to believe in the social media era where people are quick to find posts about candidates that this ‘post’ isn’t available anywhere? Not even a screenshot?” Redditor Book3pper wrote.

“No one knew about the existence of the video he was talking about. And now that people try to find the video because he mentioned it, it can’t be found. Gives you the impression of self-inflicted pain to gain sympathy votes,” user H_m_tong wrote in another thread.

Chee, his rival in the July 10 poll, said he hadn’t seen the purported post but called on the public to halt any “personal attacks” on candidates. 

“I stand with Mr Murali on this and call on whoever who did this video to stop it and for others not to circulate it. This is not what politics should be. Politics is about ideas on how we can make our nation better, not personal attacks like this,” he wrote online yesterday.

Murali and Chee are among 192 candidates running in next week’s election.

Other stories you should check out:
GE2020: Election map takes shape as candidates register to run
GE2020: Nearly 200 candidates register to run in Singapore’s election
GE2020: Here’s what’s different about Singapore’s election this time
Bye Ivan, Hello Yao Quan: PAP replaces Jurong GRC candidate after backlash

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