Dear DPP and Benjamin Pwee,

Thank you for your interest in participating in the upcoming general elections this year. Your participation in the elections will be beneficial in the push for a more democratic system in Singapore. However, I advice against you and your party’s decision to stand in Potong Pasir and Fengshan SMCs.

Potong Pasir is a traditional stronghold of the Opposition and since losing the last election, Chiam See Tong and Lina Chiam have a special connection with the residents of Potong Pasir. Sitoh Yih Pin is vulnerable. Since winning the seat by only 114 votes, he has been much of a bench warmer in Parliament. As seen in the last election, every vote counts in the bid for the Opposition to retake Potong Pasir. You are a good campaigner and speaker. Lina Chiam or Chiam See Tong needs as many votes as possible to unseat Sitoh. Besides, Potong Pasir is like their home and their backyard. It is not one ward which they would give up easily. It is fortunate that Potong Pasir wasn’t absorbed into Bishan-Toa Payoh or Marine Parade. But there might be no such luck in the next election. Look at what happened to Joo Chiat. When the seat is winnable, let the most winnable party contest it because this might be the last chance to win such a seat if it is not taken.

Similarly, Fengshan SMC was part of East Coast GRC when the Workers’ Party contested and was their second best GRC result behind Aljunied. They have been working hard in Fengshan as part of the plan to take East Coast. As seen from the Punggol East elections, third party contests against the Workers’ Party bring more harm to third party challengers than good. Why waste party resources and money on a contest where the chance of losing the election deposit is high?

My suggestion for you and the DPP is this – to focus resources and efforts on Bishan-Toa Payoh. Your party has members in the team that last contested there – yourself, Benjamin Pwee and Wilfred Leung have worked the ground in the last elections and residents are familiar with you. Bishan and Marymount is filled with private property owners who are not favourably disposed towards the PAP. Besides, your party is in a better position and has better personnel to contest Bishan-Toa Payoh than the SPP.

You, Benjamin Pwee, have experience in the ministry of foreign affairs as a top ranking civil servant. You have been involved in diplomacy before and if an Opposition government takes over, people like you would be valued invaluable in the new cabinet because of your experience.

I am not writing this so that you will be attacked online. That is not my aim and I urge readers of this letter not to do so. Rather, I am writing this so that you might reconsider your campaign options for the good of the Opposition overall.

Thank you.

Ronald Tan

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