TODAY: WP leaves Sembawang GRC battle to SDP

General Election 2006

Instead it will contest Nee Soon Central

JASMINE YIN
jasmine.yin@newstoday.com.sg

A POSSIBLE three-cornered fight at Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has been averted after the two Opposition parties eyeing the six-member ward met on Tuesday to iron things out.

The Workers’ Party (WP) has agreed to swap Sembawang GRC, which it had staked a claim on during last month’s key meeting between the Opposition parties, with the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Nee Soon Central single ward.

In its media statement released yesterday, WP chairman Sylvia Lim said this decision was triggered by the SDP’s intention to make the National Kidney Foundation debacle an “election issue” and face off with the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) team led by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

“With these insights, WP … has decided to scale back its election targets and give up Sembawang GRC to the SDP,” the statement read.

While the WP has not officially stated who it will be fielding for this single ward, signs point to its youth action committee chairman Yaw Shin Leong, 30, as a likely candidate.

An information technology consultant who has been working the ground in Sembawang, Mr Yaw told TODAY: “Being a staunch believer in political development in Singapore, I do not believe in three-cornered fights among the alternative parties. I see this as a positive outcome. We must move in synergy in strategy and direction. It’s always party above self.”

SDP party leader Dr Chee Soon Juan declined to comment.

Standing in the WP’s way at Nee Soon Central is PAP incumbent Ong Ah Heng, 62, who said he is still unsure if he will be fielded for this upcoming general election.

“As far as the ward is concerned, I welcome any Opposition candidate. Let the voters have a choice and make a decision,” he said.

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