In a media on Tuesday (28 Jul), DPP secretary-general Benjamin Pwee said that he trusts voters are mature and smart enough to choose between the PAP and “the best of the opposition candidates” in multi-cornered fights.
“We should trust our voters,” he confidently said.
“If our fellow opposition friends field a candidate stronger than ours, we will obviously either not field our candidate there, or pull back our candidate. If our candidate is stronger… then we will certainly continue to field our candidate there against the PAP, and trust that the other weaker opposition candidates will pull out. If they don’t … I strongly believe that voters would learn from the last Presidential Elections and not split their votes.”
He boasted that he has enough potential candidates to gun for five constituencies. The media reported that DPP has got 15 members. Mr Pwee said the teams he intends to field are made up of, across the board, PMETs in their mid-30s to late-40s. He added that they hold middle to senior management positions and have “experience in government, private sector and non-profit civic organisations”.
Earlier, he has told the media that he will stake claims on (‘DPP to enter 3-cornered fights with other oppo parties‘):
Potong Pasir SMC
Hong Kah North SMC
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Tanjong Pagar GRC
Fengshan is an SMC carved out from East Coast GRC, which WP has expressed its interest while Tanjong Pagar GRC was a walkover constituency which SingFirst has expressed an interest. The other 3 were previously contested by Mr Chiam’s party, SPP, in the last GE. This includes Potong Pasir, which used to be Mr Chiam’s stronghold.
In the earlier announcement, Mr Pwee said that DPP’s founder, the 75-year-old Seow Khee Leng, will be fielded in Fengshan SMC. Mr Pwee explained to the media that going to Fengshan was to “fulfill Mr Seow’s desire to run there”.
So, in addition to the PMETs in their mid-30s to late-40s, it appears DPP will also be fielding a 75-year-old.
Best man for Potong Pasir
During the interview, when it was mentioned that contesting in Potong Pasir would mean a head-on clash with his former mentor Chiam See Tong, Mr Pwee downplayed the tension.
“Fielding a top-quality candidate in Potong Pasir is about winning it from the PAP, and putting one more credible opposition MP into Parliament,” he said.
“We have reached out a number of times to talk to Mrs Chiam, to jointly discuss and coordinate a common strategy to partner and together compete in the coming GE … We have full respect for Mr Chiam and what he has done for Potong Pasir, and given his age and physical frailty, the opposition parties need to put the best man forward, to win Potong Pasir back from the PAP into fellow opposition hands.”
He said that he and his team has been walking the grounds of Potong Pasir and Bishan-Toa Payoh.
“We have been walking the ground monthly, and we know the residents and they know and support us,” he said. Since January, party members have also been doing door-to-door visits in the two constituencies, he claimed.
His party is calling for “a more equitable distribution of national wealth to the bottom half of the pyramid, through more sustainable policies, rather than short-term handouts”.