PAP's Sitoh Yih Pin to defend Potong Pasir in the coming general election

Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin at the Aug 17, 2015, press conference.
Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin at the Aug 17, 2015, press conference. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Mr Sitoh greeting reporters at the start of his press conference at the Kallang River ABC Park.
Mr Sitoh greeting reporters at the start of his press conference at the Kallang River ABC Park. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Mr Sitoh posing for photos along the river after his press conference.
Mr Sitoh posing for photos along the river after his press conference. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Mr Sitoh Yih Pin will defend his hard-won Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency (SMC) in the coming general election.

He made the announcement on his own at the Kallang River ABC Park, opposite the People's Action Party branch office in Potong Pasir, on Monday (Aug 17) morning.

"(PAP organising secretary) Dr Ng Eng Hen has informed me that I will be fielded in Potong Pasir again. I am very happy about that," he told reporters. 

Mr Sitoh, 51, was victorious on his third attempt in 2011, after Singapore People's Party (SPP) chief Chiam See Tong left the ward he held since 1984 to contest in the neighbouring Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representative Constituency (GRC).

He beat Mr Chiam's wife Lina Chiam, who is also SPP's chairman, by a mere 114 votes (50.4 per cent). 

On his chances of victory again, Mr Sitoh said they were "50-50".  

"When you won by only 114 votes and you've lost twice, you take nothing for granted. I don't dare to dream about a bigger vote margin. I just hope voters give us another chance. 

"After winning the election in May 2011, I told my team members we don't have much time. We have 1,500 days. We wanted the ABCD spirit - Acting Beyond the Call of Duty," he added. 

Mr Sitoh also said he would be sharing his manifesto soon and is promising residents a new internal bus service in the estate.

 

He had previously expressed his satisfaction that the boundaries of his constituency - the smallest of the current 12 single-seat wards with 17,327 voters - remained intact after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report last month.

He will renew his rivalry with Mrs Chiam, who had vowed to wrest back control of the ward.

"I will be standing in Potong Pasir. I stood there, I promised people I will return, and I will come back again," Mrs Chiam, 66, a Non-Constituency MP, told The Straits Times in a July 25 interview.

Mr Chiam and Mr Sitoh have reportedly shared a close relationship despite being in rival parties - Mr Sitoh spoke about the respect he had for the 80-year-old veteran politician. "Because of my relationship with him I am aware he likes the peanut pancake here (in Potong Pasir). The last time he came, I bought peanut pancake and we shared it." 

Potong Pasir is likely to see a three-cornered fight, with former National Solidarity Party secretary-general Tan Lam Siong declaring his intention to run as an independent candidate.

The Democratic Progressive Party had also stated its interest to contest but later withdrew in a show of support for Mrs Chiam and the SPP.