The Workers’ Party (WP) has indicated that it will contest a total of 28 seats – five Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) and five Single Member Constituencies (SMC) – in the next General Election, party leaders told media yesterday, 26 July, during a party walkabout.
The five GRCs are Aljunied, Marine Parade, East Coast, Jalan Besar and Nee Soon, while the five SMCs are Hougang, Punggol East, Fengshan, MacPherson and Sengkang West.
“As a matter of principle, The Workers’ Party will contest where we have contested before,” said secretary-general Mr Low Thia Khiang. “In this case, Joo Chiat is being redrawn into Marine Parade. We don’t want to disappoint voters in Joo Chiat. We want to offer them a choice again in this election.”
“We noticed that there is Fengshan SMC, which was carved out of East Coast which we contested, so naturally we would want to go there,” said party chairman Ms Sylvia Lim. “There’s a new SMC in MacPherson – that’s very close to Jalan Besar GRC that we are also planning to contest.”
Most of the constituencies are located near WP’s current seats in Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East. Aljunied represents the first time an opposition party has won a GRC in Singapore.
“Joo Chiat SMC was absorbed into Marine Parade GRC. Of course we’re quite disappointed with that,” said Ms Lim. “We’ve done quite a lot of groundwork there. With Yee Jenn Jong working hard on the ground, it’s natural that we would also plan to contest in Marine Parade GRC.”
WP’s Mr Yee had earlier expressed his disappointment that Joo Chiat has been absorbed.
‘We have walked the ground tirelessly for 4 years since the last GE, in and around the SMC, week after week, sometimes even in scorching heat and drizzles,” he wrote on his Facebook page..”Residents whom I have met were looking forward to a good and gentlemanly contest again like what we had the last time. Some ‘wise men’ in a small committee decided otherwise, for reasons best known to themselves.”
Wp’s announcement comes on the tail of the Democratic People’s Party announcement that they will be contesting in Bishan Toa-Payoh GRC.
Opposition parties are generally reluctant the stake their claims to wards, at least not before they have met to thrash out boundaries to avoid three-cornered fights.
Nevertheless, WP has indicated that they are still interested to attend the discussion.
“Historically, we’ve always attended these meetings of the Opposition parties and I think this time we would still want to try and avoid any three-corner fights if possible,” said Ms Lim.
Adapted from media reports.