Leaked poster shows possible SPP-DPP team

A mock-up of an election poster shows (from left) SPP's Law Kim Hwee, 55, SPP's Abdillah Zamzuri, 31, DPP's Hamim Aliyas, 50, SPP's Bryan Long, 37, and DPP's Benjamin Pwee, 47. However, neither party has confirmed the contents of the poster.
A mock-up of an election poster shows (from left) SPP's Law Kim Hwee, 55, SPP's Abdillah Zamzuri, 31, DPP's Hamim Aliyas, 50, SPP's Bryan Long, 37, and DPP's Benjamin Pwee, 47. However, neither party has confirmed the contents of the poster.

A leak of a mock-up of the election poster for the joint Singapore People's Party-Democratic Progressive Party Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC team may finally reveal the opposition slate for the five-member GRC.

The poster features two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members - party chief Benjamin Pwee, 47, and chairman Hamim Aliyas, 50 - and three Singapore People's Party (SPP) members: former sales and marketing manager Law Kim Hwee, 55, training company owner Abdillah Zamzuri, 31, and entrepreneur Bryan Long, 37.

The three SPP members are newcomers to politics while the two DPP ones contested in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in 2011.

The poster also reveals what could be the team's election slogan: "We hear you. We speak for you."

Neither side has confirmed the contents of the poster though SPP chairman Lina Chiam told reporters at the Elections Department yesterday that her team for this election campaign is "as strong as can be". She said the Bishan-Toa Payoh team will be revealed on Nomination Day.

When asked about the leak of the poster, Mr Pwee told The Straits Times: "I'm unable to verify the contents of the poster, because we will leave it to the SPP to officially reveal the team. I'm not going to comment on whether or not this is the slate."

The SPP's Mr Long said: "There are multiple versions of these posters indicating different candidates. This is just one of the permutations." He declined to confirm the line-up, only saying that "the public will know who the five are on Nomination Day".

In 2011, a five-man SPP team, led by veteran opposition leader Chiam See Tong and featuring Mr Pwee, won 43.1 per cent of the votes in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

But the two sides are said to have been tussling over the make-up of the team in recent weeks but appear to have come to an agreement.

Sources say today is the last day for the parties to make up their minds if they intend to have their election posters printed in time for the start of the election campaign period next Tuesday.

The joint team was supposed to be a feel-good parable of opposition unity: Mr Pwee takes the olive branch extended by Mrs Chiam, chairman of the SPP and wife of his former mentor and opposition veteran Chiam See Tong.

The reconciliation took place at the first opposition pow-wow earlier this month when Mr Pwee's party bowed out of Potong Pasir, and accepted a peace-pipe proposal to send a joint team to contest in Bishan-Toa Payoh, a GRC that both parties had been eyeing.

The give-and-take was supposed to finally turn the page on the acrimony of 2012, when Mr Pwee and five other council members of the SPP had quit en-masse over the party's leadership style and direction.

But the marriage-of-convenience had looked doomed for some time as sources familiar with negotiations had told The Straits Times yesterday that the parties still could not agree on the joint team of five candidates, including an objection from SPP about a candidate DPP wanted to field.

Cracks in the partnership began appearing a fortnight ago, when the DPP unilaterally started introducing potential candidates to the media, even though it said it is only contesting in Bishan-Toa Payoh this election.

It has, to date, introduced five possible candidates: social enterprise owner Edwin Fernandez, 55, businessman Chia Ser Lin, and tech start-up vice-president Nadine Yap, both 46, as well as Mr Pwee and Mr Hamim.

And while the partnership is remaining intact for now, Mrs Chiam said at her party headquarters last night that the team is yet to be pinned down.

"We are just talking about it, we'll let you know," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Leaked poster shows possible SPP-DPP team'. Print Edition | Subscribe