GE2020: Three-way fight in Pioneer SMC as PAP fields new candidate

GE2020: Three-way fight in Pioneer SMC as PAP fields new candidate

Patrick Tay, Lim Cher Hong and Cheang Peng Wah
People's Action Party's Patrick Tay, Progress Singapore Party's Lim Cher Hong and independent candidate Cheang Peng Wah will be running for Pioneer SMC. (Photos: Ruth Smalley)

SINGAPORE: Pioneer Single Member Constituency (SMC) will see a three-way fight involving the People's Action Party (PAP), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and an independent candidate.

The PAP has fielded a new candidate in the area, Mr Patrick Tay, to take over from former Member of Parliament Cedric Foo, who is not standing for re-election.

Mr Tay was previously an MP for West Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

In his post-nomination speech, he thanked Mr Foo and asked for the residents’ votes and support to create a better Pioneer.

Nomination papers were also successfully filed for PSP's Lim Cher Hong, a chartered financial consultant and author, as well as for independent candidate Cheang Peng Wah, a new face in the election landscape.

Mr Lim, in his speech, said: “This is an opportunity for (Pioneer residents) to have an alternative voice in Parliament.”

When asked by the media what he could bring to the table, Mr Lim said PSP will "scrutinise" PAP's policies.

"If we have 100 per cent PAP in the Parliament, the only challenge here is, there will be groupthink; no one is going to vote against what they propose," he said. 

"PSP is going to scrutinise all the policies that they have, but that does not mean that we are going to challenge every single policy. There are things that can be better, question the government, and come up with even better alternative plans for them."

Mr Cheang thanked his supporters for being “willing” and daring to “stand up to make a difference to Singapore”. He asked residents to look out for him in the area.

He later told reporters that he grew up in the area and is very familiar with it. When asked why he picked Pioneer SMC when two parties had previously staked their claim, he said: "Why don't you ask them, knowing I'm coming, why they want to join into the fray?"

He added: "I look at all of our 4G ministers - I think they are not up to the mark. Why? Because our opposition is not fierce and strong enough."

He said that PSP is a new party, and even though its secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock was previously an MP, "that was decades ago".

"Whether he can deliver, we don't know. But I know I can deliver," he said.

When CNA asked what his occupation was, Mr Cheang pointed to his Facebook page, which listed several former jobs, including consultant at the Ministry of Defence, senior business development manager at Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia and programme manager at the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Aspiring independent candidate Victor Ronnie Lai, a 65-year-old retired financial consultant, turned up with flowers to contest Pioneer, but was turned away at the door for not having the required number of people to second or assent to his bid.

The previous MP, Mr Foo, has been in Pioneer since 2001, when it was part of West Coast GRC, and held on to it after it was carved out as a single seat in 2011. In the 2015 General Election, he garnered 76.34 per cent of the vote against the National Solidarity Party's Elvin Ong Beng Soon.

The NSP dropped Pioneer from its line-up in this GE to make way for the PSP.

The Peoples Voice previously said it would field activist Gilbert Goh in Pioneer, but pulled out at the last minute. Mr Goh, who is in his 50s, previously contested under the Reform Party’s banner in 2015.

More than 24,000 people are eligible to vote in Pioneer.


Source: CNA/dp

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