SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has revealed that the People's Action Party's (PAP) slate of candidates for all but three constituencies is likely to be announced before the Prime Minister's National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 23) night.
Dr Ng said the party's slate of the three wards to be known after the rally could include the five-member Aljunied Group Representative Constituency (GRC), which the PAP lost to the Workers' Party in 2011.
Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao on Monday reported him as saying this during a walkabout at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 on Sunday.
On Aug 10, when declaring that it was "election season", Dr Ng said the PAP would unveil its line-up of candidates for the coming general election within two weeks. He is the party's organising secretary.
In a statement issued on Monday (Aug 17) afternoon, Mr Ng noted that in his Aug 10 interview, he had said the PAP would start introducing its candidates from Aug 12 "till National Day Rally (NDR), or so", and spread out at a steady pace to allow residents enough time to digest the announcements.
"Thus far, this format to introduce our candidates early and steadily in their constituencies before Nomination Day has proceeded well," he said in the statement.
"It has achieved our purpose of providing more information to residents to make an informed choice of which candidates can take better care of their interest over the next five years.
"By NDR, the PAP would have presented the slate of its candidates except for a few remaining GRCs. There will be a slight pause, appropriate after PM's speech at the NDR, after which the PAP will present the remaining slate of candidates in that week, for the coming GE."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be delivering his annual address to the nation on Sunday.
Dr Ng is the anchor minister for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, which was the first constituency to unveil its candidates last Wednesday. Since then, the PAP's candidates for six GRCs and four Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) have been revealed.
The other five GRCs which have been announced were Sembawang, Ang Mo Kio, Chua Chu Kang, Jalan Besar and West Coast. The SMCs were Hougang, Sengkang West, Pioneer and Potong Pasir.
On Sunday, Dr Ng also did not rule out that small adjustments could be made to the PAP's line-up on Nomination Day, reported Lianhe Zaobao.