SINGAPORE – The People’s Power Party (PPP) has announced plans to field candidates in the Radin Mas and MacPherson single-member constituencies (SMC), two areas where other opposition parties have backed out.
PPP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng, who announced his intention to run in an SMC on Sunday (June 21), is expected to be one of the candidates. The other candidate will be revealed shortly, he said.
PPP’s announcement on Facebook on Tuesday came hours after President Halimah Yacob dissolved Singapore’s 13th Parliament and issued the Writ of Election. Nomination Day will be next Tuesday, June 30, and Singaporeans will go to the polls on July 10.
On the decision to contest the two constituencies, Mr Goh said they were the “only places available, without a three-cornered fight”.
“As a small party we are a price-taker… if people don’t want it, then we will have to take it,” said Mr Goh.
Mr Goh, 50, said his party, which he formed to run in the last election in 2015, has two core principles: To ensure that every Singaporean has a choice to vote for different parties, and to avoid three-cornered fights.
The National Solidarity Party (NSP) indicated its interest in MacPherson SMC in March, but has since dropped its plan, The Straits Times understands .
“I hate to see MacPherson being left behind, this was the first place I held a rally at when I was with NSP in 2011,” said Mr Goh, who was NSP’s secretary-general at the time. He quit the party after the 2011 elections and set up PPP.
“It’s only good for me to get back there to do something,” he added.
MacPherson, a single ward which was merged with Marine Parade GRC in 1991, became an SMC again in the 2015 election.
Mr Goh also said the Reform Party (RP), which had previously indicated its interest in Radin Mas SMC, is not likely to run there. PPP and RP are in an informal alliance together with Singaporeans First and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mr Goh was initially believed to have set his sights on the newly carved-out Kebun Baru SMC, after he was seen on a walkabout in the constituency on Monday (June 22), along with PPP party chairman Syafarin Sarif .
The constituency, which was previously a part of the five-member Nee Soon GRC, has been claimed by opposition parties Progress Singapore Party and DPP.
PPP’s motto for this year’s election will be to work towards “a strong Parliament”, said Mr Goh.
He added that Parliament must be strengthened, and cannot devolve to become a “rubber-stamp” Parliament in which politicians go with the ruling party’s decisions, having few alternative views.