Sunday Times: Spat over deal to avoid 3-cornered fights

A TINY spat has broken out between two opposition parties, with one accusing the other of going back on an agreement to contest a ward together.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday chided the Workers’ Party (WP) for working the ground in East Coast GRC behind its back.

In a terse press statement, it said it would now go ahead and contest in East Coast GRC and MacPherson on its own, since “WP has failed to abide by the agreement”.

It added: “As far as the DPP is concerned, the door of communication is now closed… We are now ready to face three-cornered fights.”

But WP chief Low Thia Khiang explained that it was a “confusion”. A Chinese-language newspaper had misinterpreted WP’s visits in Bedok as signs that it would contest East Coast GRC, which the DPP took as breaking an earlier agreement.

Said Mr Low: “There are always these problems of communication. But if the DPP insists on contesting in East Coast, maybe the WP will not go there.”

He stressed that his party wanted to avoid three-cornered fights and would remain “flexible” on deciding which wards it would contest. He added he would speak to DPP’s leaders to resolve the misunderstanding.

DPP chairman Mansur Rahman told The Sunday Times he would hear Mr Low out, saying: “We will see what the WP has to say.”

But he expressed unhappiness that the WP had not discussed the Bedok visit with DPP. East Coast GRC is held by a six-man People’s Action Party team helmed by Deputy Prime Minister S. Jayakumar.

T. Rajan

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