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The SDP has written to the Prime Minister’s Office calling on for Bukit Panjang to remain as a Single-Member Constituency (SMC) so that the party can challenge the incumbent PAP MP Dr Teo Ho Pin in the ward in the upcoming general elections.
It is obvious that stallholders and residents in the estate are deeply unhappy about the recent takeover and shocking rent hike of the Fajar market by Sheng Siong. Dr Teo has refused to step in and stop the supermarket chain from profiteering from the residents.
The Singapore Democrats on the other hand have been doing our utmost to, first, stop the takeover and, second, prevent Sheng Siong from increasing the rent of the stalls.
Given the very different stances of the SDP and PAP in this matter, it is only fair that the voters in the constituency be allowed to choose between the party they want to represent them in parliament.
Redrawing the SMC into a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) or carving it up would disenfranchise the residents at the estate as the issue is a local one. It would not allow the voters there to support or reject the current MP and his performance.
When our Chairman, Mr Gandhi Ambalam, met with Dr Teo at his meet-the-people’s session last week over the Sheng Siong issue, we promised that the party would contest him in the ward in the coming elections and that the Sheng Siong saga would be, among others, a key issue.
The SDP has been visiting the constituency for years and has intensified our work there since the last general elections in 2006. We will put in everything to wrest the seat from the PAP.
The only way that the PAP can continue to win the elections so handily is if it continues its balatant gerrymandering of the constituencies and then announcing them at the last minute leaving the opposition unable to strategise our campaign.
The Singapore Democrats make our call, loud and clear, for the Bukit Panjang constituency to remain as an SMC so that the residents there will not be deprived of the chance to vote on the Sheng Siong issue and Dr Teo’s refusal to help them.
If the PAP is not afraid of a fair contest in Bukit Panjang, then it should leave the constituency in its present form.
To: Prime Mnister’s Office
Re: Bukit Panjang Constituency
The SDP calls on your Office to leave the above constituency as a single-member ward and not to absorb it into a GRC or to drastically redraw its boundaries.
This is because of the recent rent hike of the stalls at the Fajar wet market by Sheng Siong, causing much unhappiness with residents and stallholders of the estate.
More significantly, Dr Teo Ho Pin has rejected calls to intervene in the matter.
On other hand, the SDP is working to get Sheng Siong to reverse its decision to increase the rent.
As such, it is important that the residents get the opportunity to show their support for the party that best represents their interests over the affair. Absorbing the constituency into a GRC or drastically re-drawing the current boundaries will deprive the residents there of that right.
We, therefore, call on the PMO not to re-constitute Bukit Panjang from its current state as an SMC. Otherwise, it signals the PAP’s fear of a fair contest in the constituency.
Singapore Democratic Party