SINGAPORE: A Progress Singapore Party (PSP) team led by its secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock will contest West Coast GRC against the People’s Action Party (PAP), after candidates from both parties successfully filed their nomination papers at Nan Hua High School on Tuesday (Jun 30).
Dr Tan will be part of a five-member PSP team together with Mr Jeffrey Khoo, Ms Hazel Poa, Mr Leong Mun Wai and Mr Nadarajah Loganathan. They will be up against a PAP team led by incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) S Iswaran, Foo Mee Har, along with Desmond Lee, Ang Wei Neng and new face Ms Rachel Ong.
Both Mr Lee, who is the Minister for Social and Family Development, and Mr Ang were formerly MPs for Jurong GRC.
“I am back because I feel things are not going on correctly - there’s a lack of accountability, a lack of transparency and a lack of independence ... in the appointment of senior people in the Government,” said Dr Tan in a speech after his team’s candidacy was confirmed.
“These form the basis of a good Government and I found it was lacking, therefore I decided I must come back.”
Mr Iswaran, who is the Minister of Communications and Information, said: “COVID-19 has created much uncertainty in our lives and our livelihoods. We, as a team, have worked through the years to look after your needs and care for you.
“Vote for us, your PAP team, so that we can continue to work together to protect our lives, our jobs and our future.”
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West Coast GRC has traditionally been a PAP stronghold since it was formed in 1997. In the last polls in 2015, PAP won 78.57 per cent of the votes against the Reform Party.
The wide margin meant that the four-member PAP team, which comprised Mr Iswaran, Ms Foo, Mr Patrick Tay and Mr Lim Hng Kiang, was among the best performing PAP teams in the 2015 General Election.
Based on the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report released in March, West Coast GRC took in parts of Chua Chu Kang GRC and parts of Hong Kah North SMC to become a five-member constituency with 146,251 voters.
Dr Tan was the MP for Ayer Rajah for 26 years, when he was with the PAP. The ward is now part of West Coast GRC.
When asked after the announcement of his team's candidacy if he felt that Mr Desmond Lee's addition to the PAP slate in West Coast GRC was due to the perceived threat of the PSP, Dr Tan said: "It's their way. I'm not going to question why they do that."
He added that it was "quite good" that PAP is "trying to put their heavyweights" to contest the GRC.
With PSP member Lee Hsien Yang absent from the party's slate of candidates, Dr Tan denied having "teased" voters with the possibility of Mr Lee Hsien Yang running.
"I never tease. If the voters feel teased, it's their own problem," he said, adding that Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who is the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will be involved in campaigning with the PSP.
The West Coast PAP team did not speak to reporters after the confirmation of their candidacies.