Chia Ti Lik, 01 March 2009
I read on Saturday yesterday’s Weekend Today that Singapore People’s Party SPP’s Chiam See Tong has indicated his intention to fight for a GRC in this coming election and one of GRCs he might contest is Bishan Toa Payoh GRC. Chiam did name a few other GRCs to be fair. SPP enjoys proximity and the spillover effect from its seat held in Bishan Toa Payoh. Bishan-Toa Payoh sits just on the fringe of Potong Pasir. In fact if Potong Pasir were to be absorbed into a GRC, it would most likely be Bishan-Toa Payoh. It seems like a natural choice.
This was reason enough for WP to respond. I was directed to a blogpost by Workers’ Party WP’s Yaw Shin Leong on the WP’s CAC (Central Area Committee) which was formed to cover Ang Mo Kio GRC, Bishan Toa-Payoh GRC and Yio Chu Kang SMC. Therein i detect clearly interest by WP’s CAC in Bishan Toa Payoh. To be fair, WP’s CAC was set up shortly after GE2006 which did express interest in Bishan Toa Payoh amongst others.
But that’s not all.
Being non-partisan has allowed my to obtain information on interests expressed by other people and parties in certain hotspots. And this information now has proven to be useful.
Bishan Toa Payoh GRC according to my knowledge is also visited by the NSP National Solidarity Party in its activities.
The Singapore Democratic Party led by Dr. Chee Soon Juan has also made visits to Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC – this part i am fully aware.
This interest apparently is also expressed by NSP’s Goh Meng Seng. Which at one stage i expected to eventually contest with Tan Kin Lian in the same GRC. Could this put Tan Kin Lian onto the path towards Bishan Toa Payoh as well?
What are the merits in each of the groups claims or impending claims? Should the parties meet to lay the ground rules for deciding which party makes the bid for the hotspot?
And that’s not the end.
I have friends in the Reform Party as well. I would shudder at the thought that there would be a Reform Party team aiming to contest in Bishan Toa Payoh as well as I have reasons to believe that a number of them are resident in the area.
The worst thing that can happen is a wildcard to come into the picture. Independent candidates which i am told are contemplating entering the electoral fray might make a bid for Bishan Toa-Payoh as well if they feel that their candidates are up to the mark. This would make the clash of contests a forgone conclusion with the PAP winning in the end.
I would predict and hope that all parties contest the areas which they have contested in the last election. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, it is only natural and wise for a party to re-contest an area which it has built awareness, familiar and recognition in a previous contest.
I do not know how active has been WP’s East Area Committee after I left but I do wish that my beloved East Coast gets its second chance at having an opposition slate as its MPs.
How would the opposition decide the horsetrade that would traditionally go on in the prelude to nomination day? First to lay claim? Most activities done? Strength of the candidates?
The horsetrade avoids wastage of opposition resources. The only impediment to a successful horsetrade would be the pride and ego of each party. But that is not the end. If the area is such a hotspot, be prepared for a wildcard to come into the picture, independents who might make a bid for the same GRC.