Workers’ Party (WP) member Yee Jenn Jong has said that his party does not know when the next General Election (GE) will be called since “the ruling party has the sole rights to decide as the elections department reports to the Prime Minister.”
In a Facebook post published yesterday evening (25 July), Mr Yee said that 80 per cent of the questions he and his colleagues receive when they go on walkabouts and community outreach events is when the next GE will be held.
Revealing that he and his colleagues wish they knew when the GE might be called, Mr Yee noted: “So when is the General Elections? That’s the question by around 80% of those we met today at the coffeeshop and flats in Serangoon Central this evening, located at the far, far end of the Marine Parade GRC.
“Well, we wish we know. The ruling party has the sole rights to decide as the elections department reports to the Prime Minister.”
Mr Yee asserted that “the more insecure the ruling party is, the shorter the notice period” opposition party politicians receive to prepare for the GE. He added: “Boundaries can be changed at will and informed just weeks before elections are called… Elections have been called just a couple of days after boundaries were changed.
“No one will know if the Elections Boundaries Review Committee has been formed unless you keep asking in parliament every month, a rather ridiculous situation for a democracy.”
Despite the uncertainty his party faces, Mr Yee said that the party remains “encouraged by the warm responses by residents.” He added: “One young man, not even living in the area immediately volunteered to help. He said he would have joined in immediately if he wasn’t already on a date there!”
Mr Yee first stepped into the political world in 2011 contesting in the Joo Chiat Single Member Constituency (SMC) against PAP heavyweight Charles Chong. Although he lost marginally with 48.99% of the votes, he finished as the second best loser in an election and became an NCMP thereafter, from 2011 to 2015.
He contested the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the 2015 General Election and lost. Mr Yee remains an active WP member.
Earlier this year, Mr Yee revealed that he decided to enter politics on the alternative side prior to the 2011 General Election since he sensed that change would not occur unless there was a credible alternative and since he wanted to see quality candidates on both sides, as a voter himself.
The politician added that he felt that “competition is the way to force the incumbent to be responsive and innovative, and the alternative had to be credible.” Mr Yee noted that this view, however, is at odds with the ruling party’s oft-repeated sentiment that it “needs a super strong majority or even absolute rule.”
Mr Yee asserted, then: “The playing field has been made deliberately unfair and even good people have been deterred from taking the alternative side because of fear.”