While the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) prepared for a three-cornered fight in the ward they have the opposition claim to, party chief Desmond Lim Bak Chuan told the press this week that he is “not concerned” by the competition.
Although multi-cornered fights are looked down upon since they could dilute the opposition vote and cause one or more parties running against the PAP behemoth to lose its election deposit, some of the newer opposition groups are giving rise to whispers of conflicts between the parties as they try to wrangle wards from the stalwarts.
Political parties that was formed after the last general election have five options: they can stake a claim on the new wards that have arisen in the latest electoral boundaries review, claim one of the existent wards that have been ceded by an older party, barter for an existing ward with another opposition party, enter into a multi-cornered fight, or sit the election out.
As one of the new parties, the People’s Voice party (PV), is said to be considering the multi-cornered fight route. The Straits Times reported that PV is interested in contesting Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC even though the SDA has already staked its claim on the constituency.
The SDA has been walking the ground at Pasir Ris-Punggol for over 13 years and contested the ward in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 general elections.
Revealing that his party has no plans to cede its claim and is prepared for a three-cornered fight, secretary-general Desmond Lim told ST: “The SDA is not concerned about three-cornered fights. We have been consistently caring for residents in Pasir Ris for over 13 years now, and will continue to do so.”
Mr Lim has been running a charity group in the ward for some years now. It was previously reported that the charity group, Dedicated Locals’ Caring Community, has been supplying meals to about 2,500 beneficiaries “who are mostly elderly uncles and aunties,” over the past few years.
When asked why many people are not aware of these efforts, Mr Lim reportedly said: “This is charity lah. It is a small effort. That’s why I keep it low-key and never publicise, so that people don’t misunderstand and think you want to score (political) points.”
He added: “People can laugh at me. I am okay. As long as I can do my work and help people in my own way, I am happy.”