SINGAPORE: Senior Counsel Harpreet Singh’s commentary on how the country needs a stronger opposition has gotten much attention online since it was published in the online magazine Jom on May 31.

Mr Singh, who joined the Workers’ Party and who has been seen on the ground at WP activities, was even dubbed “WP’s trump card” in a June 4 post on r/SingaporeRaw, which is perhaps unsurprising, given his high profile.

WP’s trump card, Harpreet Singh on the need for stronger opposition.
byu/louiebails inSingaporeRaw

While he has been seen along with fellow lawyer Fadli Fawzi and WP Youth Wing President Nathaniel Koh on the ground at Marine Parade, the party may decide to field Mr Singh elsewhere in the upcoming General Election.

At this point, however, Marine Parade GRC appears to be a solid option for the WP. The party performed fairly well there in the last two GEs. In 2015, led by former NCMP Yee Jenn Jong, it won nearly 36 per cent of the vote. In GE 2020, the WP saw an increase of 6.31 per cent from the previous election, obtaining 42.24 per cent of the vote in what had been the bulwark of former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.

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But perhaps what may be in WP’s favor is that some voters in the constituency may be feeling somewhat let down by the ruling party. Last year, the charismatic former House Speaker, Tan Chuan-Jin, who had represented Kembangan–Chai Chee in Parliament from 2011 to 2023, stepped down after an inappropriate relationship was disclosed between him and Tampines MP Cheng Li Hui.

Nevertheless, the PAP team at Marine Parade still has several high-profile members, including two ministers, Tan See Lang and Edwin Tong, as well as Seah Kian Peng, who was appointed speaker after Mr Tan resigned, and the WP may want to situate the Senior Counsel in a battle where it is more sure of a win.

If the opposition party wants to hedge its bets, it could field Mr Singh in either of the GRCs it currently holds, as both are one person down. The WP lost Aljunied GRC’s Leon Perera and Sengkang’s Raeesah Khan, who resigned in 2023 and 2021 respectively, under controversial circumstances.

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Could the WP use Mr Singh at Aljunied? Maybe. On the one hand, WP chief Pritam Singh is facing legal troubles due to the Raeesah Khan scandal, and his trial starts on Oct 14. Should the election be called around that time, the Senior Counsel’s weight would help the WP team at Aljunied.

The same could be said for the fight the Sengkang slate would face. However, current MPs—He Ting Ru, Louis Chua, and Assoc Prof Jamus Lim are considered to be doing well in their first term and are popular in their wards. /TISG

Read also: “If Harpreet is running in my GRC, I’ll vote WP” — New face draws early support