Former National Solidarity Party (NSP) secretary-general Mr Tan Lam Siong, who had earlier declared he would stand in Potong Pasir SMC as an independent candidate, has announced that he would pull out of the General Elections today.

According to Mr Tan, he would devote his resources to helping Singapore People’s Party (SPP) candidate Lina Chiam. Mrs Chiam had lost to the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) Mr Sitoh Yih Pin by 114 votes in GE 2011.

On his decision not to run, Mr Tan said that an encounter with Mrs Chiam led him to change his mind: “Last night, I was doing my usual walkabout. As I was driving out from the carpark near Block 108 in Potong Pasir after 11 p.m., I saw a Mercedez Benz waiting to park. It has just entered the car park and its headlights were shining in my direction.

“As I exited from my parking lot and passed by the Merc to my right, I noticed the lady driver struggling to turn her steering wheel so as to move her car aside to let me pass. As I drove passed the stationary Merc, I saw that the driver was Mrs. Lina Chiam. She was in her party T-shirt and looked rather haggard.

Along the way home, I kept thinking about my encounter with Mrs. Chiam and felt sorry that she was still out at such a late hour. I recall her recent statement about this election being her last election and that she will be retiring with Mr. Chiam. I began to have this feeling of sadness and couldn’t sleep after reaching home.”

After this, he says he contracted his team and told them about his decision to not contest, and directed his team to show support instead for Mrs. Chiam at her rally.

When interviewed, Mrs Chiam said that she had not had any meeting with Mr Tan: “We’ve heard the news about his withdrawal. We are focused on serving the residents of Potong Pasir. I have not met Tan Lam Siong.”

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