Singapore

Volunteers describe prep work before party posters go up

Volunteers describe prep work before posters go up, including recceing lamp posts

In less than 24 hours, thousands of posters and banners from the various political parties went up across Singapore to mark the start of this year's general election.

This was work that started right after Nomination Day came to a close yesterday, volunteers told The New Paper.

Even outgoing Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew was seen carrying a ladder and helping to put up posters at Tanjong Pagar GRC.

In the Radin Mas ward, seven banners and 500 posters of candidate Sam Tan were put up by resident volunteers from the People's Action Party (PAP) in just three hours.

Hawker Irene Tan, 57, said: "Among us volunteers, we had our own goal. We wanted to get all the posters up in less than four hours after Nomination Day was over."

Mrs Tan, who runs a fishball noodle stall with her husband, said they closed the stall for two weeks to focus on volunteering for this election.

She said: "The money we don't earn doesn't matter. Mr Sam Tan has helped us a lot and this is the only time we get to repay his hard work.

"After all, this only happens once in every four to five years."

The work began last Sunday, when Mrs Tan and her husband collected the posters from the printing company before heading to the PAP branch office.

"About 12 of us got together to prepare the posters. Some of us stapled the posters to the plywood while others drilled holes into the wood (to get)it ready for hanging," she said.

Businessman Pyrone Peng, 52, another volunteer for the PAP camp, took nine days' leave to help coordinate the hanging up of the posters.

15 YEARS

This is his 15th year as a volunteer and he has been helping to put up posters for the past two general elections.

"The 350 posters were given to us... last Sunday," said Mr Peng, who is the branch secretary of the Kampong Glam division, which is under the Jalan Besar GRC.

He and another volunteer spent their Sunday recceing the whole of Kampong Glam, driving round and making markings on a map.

"We looked out for the best lamp posts, making sure that these were posts that wouldn't block or obstruct cameras. It took us about one and a half hours," he said.

On Tuesday, after nominations closed, he and the other volunteers started putting up the posters at about 3pm.

"But we only did it till about 6pm because it's dark and not so safe," he said.

They continued their work at 8.30am yesterday, moving around on a lorry provided by one of the volunteers. They have since put up more than 300 posters in the Kampong Glam area.

"We also have volunteers who we call to check certain areas to make sure the posters are fine. When they tell us (a poster is) defaced or damaged, we go back and put up another one," he said.

"It's tiring work, but we all do it because we believe that Ms Denise Phua is a good leader."

Mr J.P. Chong, 48, a Workers' Party volunteer, said: "The printer had provided us with a lorry carrying two workers and the posters.

"A group of five of us went around... Marine Parade GRC. We followed in two vans behind the lorry's route (where the workers dropped the posters)... We'd stop the vehicle, dash down to put up the poster, jump back into the van and go on to the next lamp post."

It is the first time Mr Chong has volunteered for this task.

He said: "We (didn't) really know one another, but we took leave to come together for one cause. We paid for our meals, but took turns to buy beverages for the rest of the team."

We looked out for the best lamp posts, making sure that these were posts that wouldn't block or obstruct cameras. It took us about one and a half hours.

- Volunteer Pyrone Peng

Mixed fortunes for printing business

Compared with most of the players in the tentage industry, the situation is slightly different for those in the printing sector.

While some of those interviewed are seeing a busy season, one company owner feels that social media has impacted his business.

Among the busy ones is Youprint LLP, a digital printing provider, which was filled with orders for almost two months.

A spokesman told The New Paper that they are looking at profits of about $200,000 more. He added that most of the sales had to do with Singapore's Jubilee celebrations.

"Many companies bought building stickers and building banners in conjunction with SG50," the spokesman said.

After the SG50 celebrations came inquiries about hanging banners for the General Election.

SMALL PLAYER

SGBanner, however, did not see sales go up by "that much". Its owner, who only wanted to be known as Mr Ming, said: "We're a small player so I didn't expect it to jump."

He said the company saw a 20 per cent increase - which is about $10,000 - over the SG50 period.

Owner of Republic Holdings Ben Ang, 35, forsees a five-figure profit from the GE.

He said last week: "I'm expecting to make $10,000 in sales from the General Election if all goes well. I should start receiving confirmations soon."

Republic Holdings - one of the bigger players in budget printing - specialises in printing and distributing flyers.

Mr Ang said the 10-year-old company makes an average of $70,000 in monthly sales.

But there has been a drop in demand. He reasoned that it has a lot to do with the rise of "social media".

He said: "If (clients) are catering to the older crowd then, of course, flyers still come in handy.

"But the reality is online platforms are the new way."

Singapore ElectionsUncategorisedVolunteer