Election on Sept 12? It's last day of Hungry Ghost Month
Speculations on election being held on Sept 12
FENGSHUI MASTERS: BAD LUCK?
The chatter on everyone's lips seems to be: Will the General Election be held on Sept 12?
While nothing has been announced so far, "The Date" has been widely suggested and discussed in text messages and social media.
Even veteran MP Inderjit Singh agreed that Sept 12 looks likely in a Straits Times report earlier this month.
The date is the last Saturday of the week-long school holidays, which frees schools to be used as polling stations and teachers to be tapped to man these stations.
It is also the last day of the Hungry Ghost month.
For those who are superstitious or who believe in fengshui, the date may not be a good day to hold an election.
Master David Tong, 40, told The New Paper: "Sept 12, according to the Tong Shu (the Chinese almanac), is a bad day. It's a Month Breaker day. Hence, it is a bad day to carry out any important activities."
A Month Breaker day is a day where the energies of that day are in conflict with the energies of the month.
Master Kevin Foong held a similar view.
He said: "If election is truly in the September period, the energy suggested by the planetary movement (based on astrology) or Chinese metaphysics based on the lunar calendar both suggest it is going to be a difficult time for the Government to fully convince the voters in their favour.
"The Government has a high chance of retaining control, but may have certain districts having unexpected results."
Understandably, those who are superstitious may not want to plan important activities during the Hungry Ghost month and risk upsetting the souls of the dead, who are said to roam the earth during this time.
But one fengshui master told TNP that there is nothing to worry about.
Master Goh Guan Leong said: "The rumoured date of Sept 12 is very interesting. It is basically a day of Metal and Wood elements, with the strength of Metal being overwhelmingly strong and in favour of the incumbent party."
In past general elections which coincided with the Hungry Ghost month - 1972, 1988, 1991 - the People's Action Party (PAP) performed fairly well.
In 1972, PAP won all 65 seats. In 1988, it gained 80 out of 81 seats while in 1991, PAP won 77 of the 81 seats.
Sept 12, according to the Tong Shu (the Chinese almanac), is a bad day. It's a Month Breaker day. Hence, it is a bad day to carry out any important activities.
- Fengshui master David Tong, 40,
POLITICAL OBSERVERS: Good mood?
Judging ground sentiment is more important when calling for a general election, said political observers.
Dr Gillian Koh, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, said it was natural for the ruling party to want to learn the extent to which government policy has made the "ground sweet".
She said: "In a way, the public may not care what the policy is called. They care that their lives are better.
"The politicians will also want to see if the social mood is a positive one."
Associate law professor Eugene Tan of the Singapore Management University agreed.
Aside from judging ground sentiment, being able "to show a good report card" to the electorate is also important, he said.
Other considerations include whether the party calling the date has its people, talent and manpower ready.
Said Dr Koh: "So it won't just be about the mood of the voters. It's also about the mood of the rank and file of the party. The candidates themselves have to be ready as well."
Nevertheless, despite the hype about Sept 12, Prof Tan does not think that the General Election will fall in September.
He said there may be "competition for the use of open fields" if campaigning clashes with getai events.
Candidates would also be busy at getai events as special guests.
The former nominated MP suggested November or December as better months.
"This would then give the longest lead-up time. So any accusations of unfairness and lack of time would be severely diluted," he said.