Singapore — Semblances of Opposition Unity in the coming elections have been seen in the various parties making concessions to each other, to prevent 3-cornered fights in several constituencies. The Reform Party (RP), for instance, reached an agreement with the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) over the passing on of West Coast GRC from the former to the latter. This was praised by members of the public, who see this as a way to put up a formidable fight against the ruling party.
However, things might have taken a turn with a Facebook post by RP Chairman Andy Zhu on June 25. In the post, Mr Zhu wrote that his party made it clear beforehand to PSP that with RP passing on West Coast GRC to them, the remaining constituencies that they would be contesting in would be: Ang Mo Kio GRC, Yio Chu Kang SMC and Radin Mas SMC.
The conflict of interest here surrounds Yio Chu Kang SMC. PSP had announced recently that they too will be contesting in Yio Chu Kang SMC, which came as a shock to Mr Zhu.
Mr Zhu wrote: “the PSP are deeply aware that after the ceding of West Coast GRC, we will be contesting in Ang Mo Kio GRC, Yio Chu Kang SMC and Radin Mas SMC. It seems like they are not honouring this gentleman’s agreement that they had with our SG-Kenneth. Yio Chu Kang SMC was part of Ang Mo Kio and the rights to contest should be given to us.”
Mr Zhu’s post was subsequently shared on RP’s Facebook page as well, and has drawn mixed reactions from netizens.
Some have shown support to RP, in that they too believe that RP should be given the right to contest in Yio Chu Kang SMC without a 3-cornered fight with PSP and PAP.
The airing of dirty laundry in public has also drawn some netizens to urge RP and PSP to settle their matters privately, and to come to a new compromise to prevent the Opposition Unity from breaking down.
With elections just around the corner and fears over 3-cornered fights, negotiations between the various opposition parties is indeed important for any such parties to stand a chance in the coming elections. -/TISG