SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) will face a team from the Reform Party in Ang Mo Kio GRC.
This was confirmed after the two teams of candidates filed their nomination papers at Deyi Secondary School on Tuesday (Jun 30).
The five-member PAP team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong includes former MPs Darryl David and Gan Thiam Poh, as well as new faces Ng Ling Ling and Nadia Samdin.
The Reform Party is fielding secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, chairman Andy Zhu, Mr Charles Yeo, Madam Noraini Yunus and Mr Soh Guan Soon.
Mr Jeyaretnam, 61, is serving a 14-day stay-home notice as he had just returned from the United Kingdom. He had authorised a representative to deliver his nomination papers in order to contest.
Mr Lee said at a doorstop interview after the nomination that he was happy Ang Mo Kio GRC is being contested.
“We look forward to a contest and I’m sure the residents are looking forward to hear what the Reform Party plans to do and can do,” he said.
Responding to a question on whether he has a “target” percentage for this election and if the PAP aims to better its performance of 69.9 per cent of the popular vote in 2015, Mr Lee said he never sets such targets for elections.
“I never have a numerical target for an election - we go in, we give it our all, we fight for every vote and when we open the ballot boxes, we will know how we did,” he said.
“This time, we are taking it very seriously … every constituency is contested,” he said. “This is not a by-election, it’s a General Election for the most important issues concerning the country at this moment … everybody must have that in mind.”
He also announced that former MPs Intan Mokhtar and Ang Hin Kee will be retiring from politics.
The Reform Party’s Mr Zhu said that the party is against holding elections amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but that the team will still be able to take part in the election with RP chief Mr Jeyaretnam on stay-home notice.
“He is also known to many Singaporeans, and we have been walking the ground … People have seen him, known him and he is always online,” said Mr Zhu to reporters after the nomination.
Another member of the team, Mr Charles Yeo, added that the team communicates with Mr Jeyaretnam every day via WhatsApp and on the phone.
“It’s no longer like the 70s or 80s when Kenneth’s father (Mr JB Jeyaretnam) ran against Mr Lee Kuan Yew … We can update him (Kenneth) on what’s happening at any time and get his views,“ he said in Mandarin.
In the 2015 General Election, the PAP won Ang Mo Kio – then a six-member GRC - with 78.64 per cent of the vote against the RP.
This election, the GRC was reduced to five seats after Yio Chu Kang SMC was carved out from the ward, and it absorbed part of the now-defunct Sengkang West SMC.
A newcomer, Mr Yip Hon Weng, will be standing in Yio Chu Kang GRC, while former Ang Mo Kio GRC representative Koh Poh Koon has moved to the Tampines GRC team.
Home to 185,465 voters currently, Ang Mo Kio GRC saw walkovers for three elections after its formation in 1991, and was contested in 2006 by the Workers’ Party. In 2011, it was also contested by RP.