SINGAPORE: The three biggest opposition parties could possibly become a "replacement for the Government" if they join forces, the People's Action Party's (PAP) Chan Chun Sing said at a dialogue session on Thursday evening (Jul 2).
Mr Chan, who is contesting Tanjong Pagar GRC this General Election, was speaking during a dialogue organised by Chinese-language news outlet Lianhe Zaobao along with the Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) Hazel Poa and the Workers' Party's (WP) Kenneth Foo.
Ms Poa, who is PSP's vice chairman, is standing in West Coast GRC while Mr Foo is running for election in East Coast GRC.
Speaking in Mandarin, Mr Chan said he had scrutinised both the WP and PSP's manifestos, and said that "from the PAP's perspective, we don't view them as the opposition".
"We view them as people who might eventually replace the Government after Jul 10," he said. “The three biggest opposition parties, coming together, can possibly become a replacement for the Government."
"This has been the case in some other countries, that the skies may change. So I scrutinise their policies very carefully," he added.
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Responding to Mr Chan's claims about a "replacement government", Ms Poa said that this was "a bit of an exaggeration".
"There have been contests in nearly every single seat for these past few elections," she said in Mandarin. "And as we can see from the previous election, PAP usually holds more than 90 per cent of the seats in Parliament."
She added that it was a bit too early to talk about a "replacement government" forming.
"We should worry about not having opposition voices in Parliament, as that is the more relevant situation at hand," she said.
Earlier in the dialogue, Mr Chan had also said the number of parties in a government is not "the most important".
Without specifying any countries, Mr Chan said some countries have many parties in their government, but results are average when it comes to governing.
"On the other hand, there are countries that may not have as many parties in their government, or even ruled by one party - they are doing pretty well," he said.
"To me, the main point is not about how many parties there are that's most important, it is about the hearts of the people."