Reform Party in for a tough fight, say Radin Mas residents

Blogger Roy Ngerng (centre) with Kenneth Jeyaretnam (left) and Desmond Teng at the Reform Party's walkabout in Telok Blangah on Aug 5.
Blogger Roy Ngerng (centre) with Kenneth Jeyaretnam (left) and Desmond Teng at the Reform Party's walkabout in Telok Blangah on Aug 5. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Reform Party (RP) seeks the support of residents in Radin Mas so its candidate can speak up on issues relating to Central Provident Fund savings in Parliament.

Its secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam went on a walkabout in the single-member constituency yesterday.

It contains the old Anson ward that his father, the late opposition leader J. B. Jeyaretnam, represented in Parliament after winning the Anson by-election in 1981.

The RP team has been walking the ground in Radin Mas since 2010 but did not contest there in 2011 to avoid a three-cornered fight with the National Solidarity Party.

Hawker Philip Tan, 58, who has been selling fishball noodles at Block 163, Bukit Merah Central, for about 35 years, felt it would be a tough fight for the RP as "the PAP is deeply rooted here".

Mr Tan said: "The current MP Sam Tan has done a lot for the hawkers. For example, he fought for lower rental for first-generation hawkers like me."

Resident Annie Tan, 40, said: "The issues raised by the RP concern most Singaporeans. But it is not easy for an opposition party to be elected into Parliament."

Joining the RP on its walkabout yesterday was lawyer M. Ravi, who said he is reconsidering his decision not to run in the upcoming general election after feedback from the public.

Mr Ravi and blogger Roy Ngerng have been joining the RP's walkabouts in recent weeks, but both were also spotted at the Singapore Democratic Party's 35th-anniversary dinner last Saturday.

Mr Ngerng was absent yesterday. When asked about Mr Ngerng's application to join the party, Mr Jeyaretnam replied: "It's always difficult to make the transition from blogging to being a politician."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'Reform Party in for a tough fight, say Radin Mas residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe