Three-corner fight incoming? Both NSP and WP register presence at Tampines GRC

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SINGAPORE: Two opposition parties have registered their presence at Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC), sparking concerns that the ward may be headed towards a three-way contest at the looming general election.

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) and the Workers’ Party (WP) were spotted walking the ground at the ward in recent months.

Members from both parties mingled as they met earlier this month while conducting outreach at the same food centre. Expressing friendly sentiments, the NSP said on Facebook:

“A wonderful morning today at Tampines GRC to meet fellow Opposition party members at our walkabout! We reaffirm our friendly ties with each other and wishes all the best in our endeavour.”

Photos the party posted on social media show members interacting with their WP counterparts, including WP chair Sylvia Lim.

The WP has never contested Tampines GRC in the past 35 years since the ward was created, while the NSP has had a presence in the ward since its very first election.

The NSP contested the ward in the GRC’s maiden election in 1988 and has continued contesting the ward in every election since save for the 1997 general election in which the PAP won Tampines GRC by walkover.

Despite the longstanding presence of the NSP in Tampines, the WP has been eyeing the GRC over the past few years.

The party conducted walkabouts in the area after the 2020 general election, with Ms Lim, party chief Pritam Singh, and former secretary-general Low Thia Khiang appearing to interact with residents.

Tampines GRC could be a desired constituency for opposition parties to target as one of its five seats has been left vacant for close to a year since former MP Cheng Li Hui exited politics in the wake of an affair scandal.

The current four-man PAP team are juggling the five-seat ward, shouldering Ms Cheng’s duties on top of their work at their own subdivisions.

Interestingly, anchor minister Masagos Zulkifli commented just last weekend on the challenges of balancing two divisions.

At an event on Saturday (15 June), he said, “I have… two divisions. It’s very hard to run everything, and it’s not fair for the residents.”

Under the leadership of Mr Masagos, who replaced former anchor minister Heng Swee Keat, the PAP won the contest against the NSP in the 2020 general election with 66.41 per cent of the vote.

This represents a 5.65 per cent drop from its result in the 2015 election.

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