PAP also spent almost double of what Opposition parties spent for several closely-watched constituencies

The general elections last month saw People’s Action Party (PAP) outspending opposition politicians, though all stayed within the $4.00/voter spending limit imposed by the Elections Department.

In total, PAP spent $5.3 million while the eight opposition parties’ bills tallied up to $1.8 million, according to media reports.

Biggest spenders

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was the biggest spender per voter. She spent a total of $67,114 defending Yuhua, a single member constituency. That averages out to $2.97 per voter. Minister Grace Fu spent $490 on phone credit for 10,000 SMSes.

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The biggest opposition spender is Singapore People’s Party’s Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss. She spent $52,547.69 competing for Mountbatten. Two-third of her expenses were spent on promotional materials. She spent $600 on a candy floss machine at a rally and $2,900 for filming and production of a video shoot during Nomination Day and at a rally.

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PAP’s Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan spent $64,723 in Mountbatten, where he won.

Closely-watched constituencies 

For several of the closely-watched constituencies, PAP spent nearly double of what the Opposition parties spent, according to a TODAY report.

PAP spent $238,815 at East Coast GRC, while Workers’ Party spent $126,143. PAP won 54.83% of the votes at East Coast GRC.

In Ang Mo Kio GRC, led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, PAP spent $317,545; more than 12 times its rival Reform Party, which spent $26,069. PAP beat Reform Party, winning 78.64% of the votes.

Staple expenditures

Typically, politicians spent on campaign logistics such as posters and banners, while also employing high tech equipment. Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin who is also an MP for Marine Parade GRC, rented mobile Wi-Fi broadcasters so that campaign staff can stay online while on the go, according to media reports. 

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Social media

Parties spared no expense on social media platforms, something not seen in previous elections. TODAY revealed that PAP spent $1,500 on “influencer engagement” and about $2,700 on Twitter engagement and Facebook ads, while Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) spent $6,000 on Facebook ads and S$3,025 engaging an Australian IT advisory firm for a “2015 elections campaign communications proposal”.

Food

Many candidates paid for some of the volunteers’ meals. PAP MP Teo Ho Pin spent $9,160 for buffet lunch and dinner for 30 volunteers over all nine days of campaigning.

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Independent candidates

Amongst the candidates who spent the least was Bukit Batok SMC’s independent candidate Samir Salim Neji. He spent $2,171.65, excluding the election deposit lost for failing to secure at least 12.5% of votes.

PAP’s MP David Ong, who secured Bukit Batok, spent $76,714.

The public can view election candidates’ expenditure at the Elections Department over the next six months, at a cost of $2 to view each candidate’s expense profile.

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Featured image via Flickr
With reference from The Straits Times, TODAY