To the dismay of many pro-opposition supporters in Singapore, it looks like MacPherson SMC will be heading for a 3-corner fight for coming General Elections with NSP doing a dramatic U-turn to say that they will, after all, contest in MacPherson when they had earlier relinquished their claims.
This flip-flopping of whether NSP will run in MacPherson did not go down well with netizens as many criticised them for being irresponsible and opportunistic; or even sabotaging the plans of Worker’s Party. In the first meeting between all opposition parties to negotiate which party will contest where, NSP had laid claims on Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC as these were areas which they had contested in GE 2011. NSP’s claims received wide support from the other opposition parties even though WP had indicated their intention to contest in Marine Parade and MacPherson as well.
While the matter was unresolved and WP did not turn up for the second all opposition parties meeting, it later emerged that WP was willing to relinquish MacPherson to NSP so that they can be the only opposition party in Marine Parade. But this was only after former NSP’s Acting Sec-Gen Hazel Poa announced unexpectedly during a constituency walkabout that NSP will withdraw from both Marine Parade and MacPherson.
With NSP reasserting their intention to fight again in MacPherson yesterday, the credibility of this party has gone to the dogs along with their incessant change of leadership from Goh Meng Seng to Tan Lam Siong to Hazel Poa’s recent resignation. It seems like the only constant thing about NSP is their constant flip-flopping. With these developments, it won’t be surprising if NSP’s Steve Chia loses his deposit in MacPherson and NSP vote share in other constituencies see a drop.
Even though WP has not announced its candidate for MacPherson, the battle is already in favour of PAP’s Tin Pei Ling as Singapore’s electoral history has proved that a multi-cornered fight usually results in advantages for the ruling PAP. This was most evident during the last Presidential Elections where it was widely recognised that support for Tan Jee Say ate into the vote share of main opposition candidate Tan Cheng Bock.
To make matters worse, Tin Pei Ling has reportedly worked hard in MacPherson ever since she was elected in 2011 to prove her critics wrong; while Steve Chia and the potential WP candidate is unlikely to have featured as much as Tin on the ground in the past 4 years.
To fellow WP supporters and those who believe in a robust 2-party democracy, I will urge them to invoke the spirit of Punggol East By-Election where Lee Li Lian truimped over PAP’s Koh Poh Koon in a 3-corner fight. In fact, the coming GE is no different from a by-election because even if all 28 WP candidates are victorious, PAP will still form the majority in government.
VOTE WP! MAJULAH SINGAPURA!