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Singapore’s ELD file police reports against Iris Koh and M Ravi for alleged cooling-off rules breach

The Elections Department of Singapore (ELD) has disclosed that it filed police reports against Iris Koh, the Healing the Divide group’s founder with anti-COVID-19 vaccination views, and human rights lawyer M. Ravi.

Both face potential charges under the Presidential Elections Act for making posts during the cooling-off period.

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SINGAPORE: The Elections Department of Singapore (ELD) announced on Monday (Oct 2) that police reports have been filed against Iris Koh, founder of the Healing the Divide group known for its opposition to COVID-19 vaccination, and the renowned human rights lawyer, M Ravi.

The Assistant Returning Officer has initiated police reports against Ms Iris Koh and Mr Ravi for potential offences under the Presidential Elections Act (PrEA) during the cooling-off period for the 2023 Presidential Election.

The cooling-off period for the 2023 Presidential Election began at 12 a.m. on Coolingoff Day (31 August 2023) and concluded at the close of polling on Polling Day (1 September 2023) at 8 p.m.

According to PrEA, campaigning activities and election advertising are strictly prohibited during the cooling-off period to allow voters ample time for reflection before making their choice for President.

The publication of election advertising during the cooling-off period is a punishable offence under Section 42C of the PrEA.

ELD emphasized that reminders of this prohibition were issued the day before Cooling off Day (30 Aug).

“Despite these reminders, Koh and Ravi repeatedly published online election advertising during the cooling-off period, with content that can reasonably be regarded as intended to promote or prejudice the electoral success of a candidate or to otherwise enhance or prejudice the standing of a candidate,” said ELD.

ELD provided specific instances where Ms Koh and Mr Ravi posted content during the cooling-off period:

  • On Cooling-off Day (31 August 2023), Koh published two duplicate videos on TikTok with such content.
  • On the same day, Ravi published Koh’s video on Facebook, as well as
    three videos on Facebook with such content.
  • On Polling Day (1 September 2023), Ravi published a fifth video and another post on Facebook, both with such content.

Ms Koh attended a polling night viewing party hosted at the residence of presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, during which she openly accused journalists of displaying bias in their reporting.

ELD pointed out that the Assistant Returning Officer had issued Corrective Directions to TikTok and Meta on August 31 and September 1, 2023, instructing them to block access to the two videos posted by Koh, as well as the five videos and one post shared by Ravi.

TikTok and Meta duly complied with these Corrective Directions.

ELD also indicated that the police may initiate investigations to ascertain whether Koh and Ravi have committed any offences.

Both Koh and Ravi are currently facing pending charges. Koh stands accused of conspiring with a doctor to falsify vaccination records, while Ravi faces charges related to an incident where he allegedly struck an individual near an MRT station and engaged in disorderly behaviour.

Supreme Court on 31 August rejected M. Ravi’s attempt to disqualify Tharman Shanmugaratnam from PE 2023 

On 29 August, Ravi submitted an application to the Supreme Court, requesting the disqualification of Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a presidential candidate and former senior minister from the ruling People’s Action Party, for the 2023 Presidential Election.

However, on August 31st, the Court rejected M. Ravi’s application to disqualify Tharman from the 2023 Presidential Election.

Subsequently, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam emerged victorious in the election, securing 70.41 per cent of the vote and becoming Singapore’s ninth President.

According to a statement issued by another lawyer Joseph Chen who acting on behalf Mr Ravi, the rejection appears to be based on a previous ruling that labeled M Ravi as a “vexatious litigant”.

“This is unprecedented especially in the rest of the Commonwealth Common Law Jurisdiction. It must be highlighted that M Ravi has through judicial review saved the life of Gobi Avedian who was initially tried and convicted of drug trafficking and on appeal, his conviction and death sentence was upheld.”

“We will review the decision of Justice Chua Lee Meng in relation to M Ravi and will evaluate the feasibility and possibility to launch a constitutional challenge on the validity of the Presidential Elections if an unsuited or ineligible presidential candidate is elected, ” added Joseph Chen.

53-year-old Ravi had been given a five-year suspension earlier this year due to accusations of professional misconduct.

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Iris Koh, you are a BRAVE ONE !! kudos to both of you. Respects !!!

Is Ravi wrong? I do not agree. Thanks to the pineapple lovers. They are “blind” . May the wisdom open their eyes.

Has the ELD made a report against itself for issuing double voting slips to Tanjong Pagar residents. There should be a report against CCS. Can we accept the printer excuse?

The people voted for this….happy?

It’s obvious this is a pure witch hunt. They’re not even attempting to mask this shameless act.

This kind of ruthless, relentless persecution using state organs will attract bad karma and retribution against pap. Live and let live. Why do such evil acts? Let’s wait and see justice and vengeance befall the powers that be.

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