SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party’s (WP) Aljunied team is all set to try and defend the Group Representation Constituency (GRC), with the names of its five candidates confirmed on Nomination Day on Tuesday (Jun 30).
The incumbents - WP chief Pritam Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap – are joined by former Non-Constituency Members of Parliament Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam.
The WP will face a People’s Action Party (PAP) team that includes newcomers Ms Chan Hui Yuh and Mr Alex Yeo. The team also includes Mr Chua Eng Leong, Mr Victor Lye and Mr Shamsul Kamar, all of whom contested Aljunied in 2015.
Aljunied GRC, Singapore’s only opposition-held GRC, will be closely watched, especially as WP stalwarts – former party chief Low Thia Khiang and Mr Chen Show Mao - have made way for new candidates there.
Speaking after the candidates were confirmed, Mr Singh said that it "has been an honour and privilege" for the WP team to serve Aljunied GRC for the last nine years.
"We have put our hearts and our minds to serve you in Parliament, in the constituency and in the town council, no matter what the challenge, no matter what the obstacle," said Mr Singh.
"We ask that you vote for us so that we can continue to serve you. We will strive to meet your expectations. If we have fallen short, we ask for your understanding and will strive to do better," he added.
Meanwhile, in his team's speech, Mr Lye urged residents to vote for PAP, especially since the country is still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are still in the middle of a crisis, our lives our jobs our future. You are at the centre of what we do. It has been nine years, Aljunied. Its time, bring us home," said Mr Lye.
He told reporters after the nomination that people should not have the preconception that there has to be an “anchor minister” in every GRC.
“We are doing this because we believe in the cause … We have new candidates, for example, who are willing to stand up,” he said, adding that he has been serving the constituency since 1999.
WP first won Aljunied GRC in 2011 in an upset for the PAP that resulted in the departure of former Cabinet minister George Yeo. That year, PAP saw its nationwide vote share fall to a low of 60.1 per cent.
In GE2015, the WP narrowly held on to the GRC with 50.96 per cent of the vote against a PAP team comprising Mr Chua, Mr Lye, Mr Shamsul, Mr Murali Pillai and PAP veteran Yeo Guat Kwang.
This election, about 151,000 voters are eligible to vote in Aljunied GRC.
Additional reporting by Amir Yusof