Dear All Singapore Stuff,
Here is my opinion on PAP choosing to manage Potong Pasir SMC under Jalan Besar town council.
Why PAP will dissolve Potong Pasir SMC into Jalan Besar GRC in GE2019/2020:
PAP knows that it has to portray the opposition camp as a bunch of incompetent opportunists. That’s why PAP redrew Joo Chiat SMC where WP garnered 49% of the votes into Marine Parade GRC.
This culminated in an embarrassingly long tussle for the GRC between WP and NSP. NSP was very vocal about it and kept flip flopping. NSP members spoke to the media and said WP is unreasonable, doesn’t want to communicate and does not believe in give and take.
The disorganized mess the opposition camp was in all the way from the boundary report to nomination day helped PAP shine. The mainstream media amplified this image of the opposition and this helped to influence swing voters to vote for PAP instead.
Likewise, by redrawing Potong Pasir into Jalan Besar GRC which was contested by WP, PAP is setting up a tussle for the GRC between WP and SPP. WP and SPP have always coexisted peacefully without public disagreements. But if Potong Pasir is absorbed, SPP would want to contest the GRC even though they have not done walkabouts in the rest of Jalan Besar GRC before.
If WP gives way, PAP will gleefully be fighting an easy battle against a weak opposition party with less resources. If WP doesn’t give way, WP will be portrayed as intruding into Chiam See Tong’s turf and mainstream media will say WP is arrogant. This can potentially turn off swing voters.
Don’t be surprised if Mountbatten SMC is also redrawn into Marine Parade GRC. This will force WP to contend with two areas of dispute where SPP may lay a claim.
Sitoh says he hopes for Potong Pasir to remain a SMC. But in the end the choice is not up to him. Now that Potong Pasir is managed by Jalan Besar town council, it’s only a matter of time before the constituency is dissolved into that GRC for convenience.