Singaporeans want to see “some semblance of balance” in Parliament, said Workers’ Party (WP) Secretary-General Pritam Singh on Wednesday (July 1).
He told journalists after walking the ground in East Coast GRC in the morning: “So then the onus is on us to ensure that we can put up a good slate of people out there who are prepared to fight for Singaporeans.”
During the walkabout, Mr Singh and the WP team contesting the GRC in this year’s General Election gave out flyers and interacted with residents.
East Coast is expected to be hotly contested in the polls, especially with the surprise addition of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as the anchor for the People’s Action Party (PAP) slate.
Took a few hours off to campaign with the East Coast team this morning. We work hard for your votes and support, but were not able to go where the cat did!
Reacting to one of the most unexpected developments of this year’s General Election, the WP said it was “pleasantly surprised” to be up against Mr Heng, who had served as an MP for Tampines GRC since 2011.
Mr Heng leads a team comprising Dr Maliki Osman, Mr Tan Kiat How, Ms Cheryl Chan and Ms Jessica Tan.
In what is perceived to be a David vs Goliath scenario, the PAP team goes head to head with the WP slate of Ms Nicole Seah, who contested in 2011 in Marine Parade GRC under the National Solidarity Party; Mr Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, who contested in 2015 in Nee Soon GRC; Mr Dylan Ng and Mr Terence Tan, who both contested in 2015 in Marine Parade GRC; and newcomer Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim.
Mr Heng, after all, is widely presumed to be the country’s next Prime Minister.
But the WP team seems to be taking the challenge ahead of it in stride. Mr Foo told journalists on Wednesday morning (July 1): “We were pleasantly surprised that Mr Heng actually made the move from Tampines GRC to East Coast GRC… He has been on national television, everyone knows he is the DPM, and we think that it will be a good fight.”
Mr Singh, who had on Tuesday (June 30) expressed his full confidence in the East Coast GRC team, said on Wednesday morning that the party sees Mr Heng’s entry into the race as a “strong challenge”, but he also saw it as a reflection of the PAP’s perception of WP there.
“It also says something about the PAP’s assessment of the Workers’ Party team in East Coast. I think they see the slate as a very strong one, and they know they will have to fight hard for every vote, as is what the PAP always does in every election.
“I think the East Coast team and their group of volunteers have been constantly working the ground to the best of their ability. And I think they will put up a good fight.”
His remarks were echoed by Mr Foo, who said: “For the past five years, we have been ploughing the ground. We have worked with and (tried to) understand the residents, set up new programmes to help the residents. Although we are a new team here, the work has been consistently done.”
In 2015, the PAP team received 60.7 per cent of the vote and the WP team 39.3 per cent. /TISG