Why is SDP going to Sembawang GRC?

March 16, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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Dear Sir,

I am a Singaporean who’s been keeping a close eye on the upcoming elections in Singapore.

I am truly puzzled that the SDP has unilaterally announced that they will be contesting Sembawang GRC when the WP has already indicated its interest in the GRC.

Why is SDP doing this? Did you inform or discussed with the WP about this before making a press release? This is truly ungentlemanly.

It seems that your move will erase all the work that the WP has done in Sembawang. I am really disappointed with your unilateral move. I hope that some clarification will be forthcoming in the coming days.

ANDREW

SDP: Dear Andrew,

The reasons why SDP decided to contest in Sembawang GRC was made clear in our press statement, that is, the announcement that Mr Khaw Boon Wan will lead the PAP team there and the fact that the SDP has spoken up strongly on the NKF issue (which Mr Khaw was deeply involved in). If there is a firm commitment of any other opposition party to want to contest in the ward, the SDP is happy to sit down and work out a solution based on the merits of each party’s case. Ultimately, the most important thing is that the PAP is given a tough fight in the GRC. The SDP does not maintain that it is the only party to take on the PAP-team there.

But, as mentioned above, we have very good reasons to contest in Sembawang and, more importantly, we have examined our resources and can make a firm commitment to contest there now – without further delay. As time is of the essence, we need to be even more focused on which constituency we want to contest in as soon as possible. We are prepared to launch an effective campaign with immediate effect.

The SDP has never ruled out contesting in any ward in the northern and western parts of the island. In fact we have been diligently walking the ground and selling out newspapers all over the Sembawang GRC: Causeway Point, Chong Pang market center, Marsiling hawker center, Yishun, Khatib, and Woodlands MRT stations, and the various kopitiams all over the constituency. We have been doing this since 1996.

Just because we have not spoken to the PAP media where we have been doing our work does not mean that we have not been hard at work. The newspapers have repeatedly and deliberately misreported, distorted, and even made things up in its reporting of the SDP and the activities of its members. We have no reason to expect them to portray SDP in a fair manner. We ask you not to believe the things you read, or not read, in the newspapers about the SDP.