SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) faces a contest from the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) in the four-member Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in this General Election.
PAP will field Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat as well as backbenchers Saktiandi Supaat and Chong Kee Hiong.
SPP’s candidates are party chief and former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Steve Chia, vice-chairman Williiamson Lee, interior design business owner Osman Sulaiman and Mr Melvyn Chiu, who owns a pet business.
Both sides successfully filed their nomination papers at Bendemeer Primary School on Tuesday (Jun 30).
Speaking to the media in a doorstop interview, Dr Ng said he is “very happy” with the team that the PAP is fielding.
“It’s a good team ... they have expertise that will help residents at Bishan-Toa Payoh,” he said.
“With them, we can deal with COVID-19 and its aftermath.”
In the opposing camp, Mr Chia of the SPP spoke of his team's commitment to be full-time Members of Parliament if elected.
“We want to spend the time to understand the wants and desires of residents, work with them to understand the areas they want to improve on,” he said.
Mr Chia added that there will always be challenges when opposition parties take on the PAP.
“But what we are looking at is giving residents of Bishan-Toa Payoh (a chance) to exercise their vote, to exercise how they feel about being taken care of by the incumbent party for the last 10-15 years.”
Dr Ng agreed, saying that it’s crucial that Singaporeans get to vote every five years.
“That vote tells whoever the incumbent is, whether they’ve been doing a good job, whether the needs of residents have been taken care of.”
“It’s good that we are contested, I wish Mr Steve Chia and his team all the best,” he added.
SEATS REDUCED FROM FIVE TO FOUR
PAP and SPP went head to head in Bishan-Toa Payoh in the 2011 and 2015 General Elections. The PAP won on both occasions, with 56.9 per cent and 73.6 per cent of the vote, respectively.
Bishan-Toa Payoh has been reduced from a five- to a four-member constituency for this year’s election. Some areas were carved out to form Marymount SMC, while part of Potong Pasir SMC has been added to its boundaries.
Bishan-Toa Payoh, with 101,366 voters, is the smallest GRC in terms of electors.
The PAP has fielded the same slate as 2015 bar Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, who has moved to Jalan Besar to helm the constituency.