GE2020: DPM Heng contesting in East Coast GRC an ‘important signal’ that PAP takes WP’s challenge seriously, says Pritam

GE2020: DPM Heng contesting in East Coast GRC an ‘important signal’ that PAP takes WP’s challenge seriously, says Pritam

WP Pritam Singh and Sylvia Lim at Deyi Secondary Jun 30, 2020 (1)
Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh arrives with fellow Aljunied GRC candidates, Sylvia Lim, Gerald Giam, Leon Perera and Muhamad Faisal Manap arrive at Deyi Secondary on Jun 30, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The People's Action Party’s (PAP) decision to field Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to contest in East Coast GRC is a sign that it takes the Workers’ Party’s (WP) challenge in the constituency “very seriously”, said WP chief Pritam Singh.

Mr Singh was answering questions from reporters in Hougang, alongside WP’s candidate for Hougang SMC Dennis Tan, hours after Nomination Day papers were filed on Tuesday (Jun 30).

WP Dennis Tan and Pritam Singh, Deyi Secondary School Doorstop, June 30, 2020. (2)
Pritam Singh of the Workers' Party (WP) speaking to media during a doorstop after filing nomination papers at Deyi Secondary School, on Jun 30, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

“I think it’s an important signal the PAP are sending, that they take our challenge in East Coast very seriously. I’d say we take their challenge equally seriously and that’s why we’ve put a strong slate of candidates in each constituency,” he said.

Mr Heng, who was a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Tampines GRC, was included in the PAP team for East Coast GRC, which also comprises of Senior Minister of State Maliki Osman, Ms Cheryl Chan, Ms Jessica Tan and new face Mr Tan Kiat How, who is a former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority. 

East Coast GRC PAP vs WP
Heng Swee Keat, Maliki Osman, Cheryl Chan, Jessica Tan and Tan Kiat How of the People's Action Party (top row) will face Workers' Party candidates (bottom row) Nicole Seah, Kenneth Foo, Dylan Ng, Terence Tan and Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim . (Photos: People's Action Party/Workers' Party)

The WP slate for the constituency comprises of former National Solidarity Party (NSP) member Ms Nicole Seah, as well as Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Dylan Ng, Mr Terence Tan and Mr Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim.

East Coast GRC is seen as a hotly contested battleground between the PAP and the WP, with the opposition party traditionally fielding a strong team.

READ: GE2020: East Coast GRC to see fight between PAP and WP; DPM Heng replaces Lim Swee Say

In the last General Election, the PAP team, made up of Mr Maliki, Ms Tan, Mr Lim Swee Say, and Mr Lee Yi Shyan won East Coast GRC with 60.7 per cent of the vote against the WP’s team. In 2011, the margin was smaller, with the PAP winning the constituency with 54.8 per cent of the vote.

Speaking to reporters after the WP team for Aljunied GRC was confirmed at Deyi Secondary, WP chairman Sylvia Lim said: “The Workers' Party is honoured that the PAP has seen it fit to send DPM Heng to helm the East Coast GRC (team).

“But of course, we are also quietly confident that the slate that we field there, and in fact the slate that we field in every constituency we are contesting in, are strong and diverse slates who will be able to represent the residents of the area well.” 

ALJUNIED'S NEW CANDIDATES ARE "EXCELLENT PEOPLE"

Mr Singh and Ms Lim will be leading WP’s charge to defend Aljunied GRC. The pair, alongside party vice-chairman Faisal Manap, are incumbents, and they are joined by former Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera and Gerald Giam.

Mr Perera and Mr Giam are replacing WP stalwarts - former party chief Low Thia Khiang and Mr Chen Show Mao – who are not contesting in this election.

WP Deyi Secondary School, Aljunied GRC, Speaking to press Jun 30 2020  (1)
Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh of the Workers' Party (WP) speak to the press after filing nomination papers at Deyi Secondary School, on Jun 30, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Mr Singh highlighted that he was confident that both Mr Perera and Ms Giam would do well as they are “excellent people”.

READ: GE2020: Workers’ Party to defend Aljunied GRC against PAP

“Both of them have proven to be very capable NCMPs, they are prepared to take on ministers in Parliament. More than that, I think they are very effective on the ground, they reach out to people, they speak humbly, they approach people, and they are not afraid to raise the issues that are faced by our residents to the party leadership for us to bring their voices into Parliament,” said Mr Singh.

When asked which hot button issues WP will raise for this General Election, Ms Lim replied: “Akan datang (Coming soon)."

“I think that will become clear as the campaign wears on,” Mr Singh added.

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Source: CNA/am(mi)

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