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GE2020: SPP confident that it will avoid three-cornered fights: Steve Chia

SINGAPORE — The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has ironed out potential clashes with other parties and is confident that it will not end up in any three-cornered fights in the upcoming General Election (GE), party chief Steve Chia said on Saturday (June 27).

Mr Steve Chia (right) and Mrs Lina Chiam (second from right) of the Singapore People's Party on a walkabout at Block 124, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh on June 27, 2020.

Mr Steve Chia (right) and Mrs Lina Chiam (second from right) of the Singapore People's Party on a walkabout at Block 124, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh on June 27, 2020.

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  • SPP ironed out potential clashes with other opposition parties in Bishan-Toa Payoh and Potong Pasir constituencies
  • In return, SPP agreed not to run in Mountbatten and Marymount wards
  • Former chairman Lina Chiam said that she is still actively involved in the party despite not running in GE

 

SINGAPORE — The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has ironed out potential clashes with other parties and is confident that it will not end up in any three-cornered fights in the upcoming General Election (GE), party chief Steve Chia said on Saturday (June 27).

“We have reached out to other political parties to avoid three-cornered fights, and we are quite confident that on Nomination Day, there should be a one-to-one contest between the SPP and the People’s Action Party (PAP) in Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC).” 

Previously, it was reported that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was eyeing Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, too. However, DPP said on Saturday that it will not be contesting for this GE. 

Separately, party chairman Jose Raymond, who is contesting Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency (SMC), said that he, too, is confident there will not be a three-cornered fight in the ward. 

As part of its agreements with other opposition parties, SPP had to drop plans to contest Marymount and Mountbatten SMCs, Mr Chia said.

Peoples Voice party has said that it plans to field a candidate in Mountbatten SMC, while Marymount SMC will be contested by Dr Ang Yong Guan under the Progress Singapore Party banner. 

Mr Chia said: “We had to reduce the number of candidates to five even though that places us at a disadvantage, (namely that) we will not be able to make a party political broadcast (as a result). But we give the assurance to residents that it will be a one-to-one contest.” 

Two sessions of party political broadcasts will be aired on July 2 and 9 across 19 television and radio channels this year, but only parties that field at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol can participate.

There will also be constituency political broadcasts, aired on Channel 5 between July 3 and 7, that all parties fielding a candidate will be eligible to take part. 

Mr Chia was speaking to the media at Block 124, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh. He was accompanied by Mrs Lina Chiam, the former party chairman and wife of former SPP chief Chiam See Tong, as well as the other candidates for the constituency, Mr Melvin Chiu, Mr Osman Sulaiman and Mr Williiamson Lee. 

The party members had been handing out flyers to residents since about 9am. 

Mrs Chiam, who is not contesting in this GE, said that she is taking a step back to spend more time with her husband.

“As you know, (Mr Chiam and I) spent, together, about 50 years in political life… it is time for us to retire to spend our golden years together,” she said. “I think we have done a lot of things already and whatever we could have done to give back to Singapore, because we love Singapore.”

She added that Mr Chaim was well. “He has got mobility issues, but his heart is still with the party that we founded years ago.” 

Mr Chiam, who joined SPP in 1997, was the longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament (MP), having been the MP for Potong Pasir from 1984 to 2011 until the record was overtaken in 2018 by Workers’ Party’s Low Thia Khiang. 

Mr Chiam retired from the party after Mr Chia took over the role in November last year. 

During the elections in 2011 and 2015, Mrs Chiam contested in Potong Pasir SMC but lost to the People's Action Party both times.

This is the first GE since 1984 in which a Chiam is not contesting. 

“It’s time for us to (step down from contesting) and pass the leadership to other party members who will be capable,” Mrs Chiam said. “Our greatest happiness is that the party still goes on.”

She added that while she would no longer be running for elections, she will still be a member of the party’s central executive committee, where she holds the position of immediate past chairman. 

She is still “quite active in the party”, she said, and was involved in crafting the party manifesto that is expected to be presented on Sunday.

When asked when she was planning to retire from politics completely, she said: “I cannot tell you. Politics is in my blood… It depends on the health also.”

Related topics

Singapore People's Party SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC

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