Singapore GE2020: PPP's Goh Meng Seng to contest MacPherson, expected to face off PAP's Tin Pei Ling

PPP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng (left) is expected to face off against the PAP's Tin Pei Ling.
PPP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng (left) is expected to face off against the PAP's Tin Pei Ling.PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE - The People's Power Party (PPP) secretary-general Goh Meng Seng on Thursday (June 25) said he will contest MacPherson SMC, where he is expected to face off against the People's Action Party's Tin Pei Ling.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Goh posted a picture of a map of the MacPherson area and captioned it: "Finally put my Operational Skills learned from Army as Officer into good use..."

When contacted, the 50-year-old confirmed that he would stand in the single seat, and said more details will be released later on Thursday.

Ms Tin, 36, was first elected in 2011 and won a three-cornered fight for MacPherson in 2015, garnering 65.6 per cent of the vote.

Responding to Mr Goh's announcement, Ms Tin wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday: "I welcome the contest, which will be good for our democracy and for the residents of MacPherson.

"Mr Goh Meng Seng is a veteran politician with many years of experience, and I do not underestimate his campaign capability.

"MacPherson is always special to me. Having served in MacPherson for 10 years, I deeply cherish the bonds I share with our residents, and will continue to do my very best to serve, if I am given the opportunity to do so."

On Tuesday, the PPP had announced plans to field candidates in the Radin Mas and MacPherson SMCs, two areas where other opposition parties have backed out.

In a Facebook post at about 2.30am on Wednesday, the party subsequently said it would "take a step back" for the Reform Party to focus on Radin Mas.

Mr Goh said his party, which he formed to run in the last election in 2015, has two core principles - to ensure every Singaporean has a choice to vote for different parties, and to avoid three-cornered fights.

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) had indicated its interest in MacPherson SMC in March, but has since dropped its plan, ST understands .

"I hate to see MacPherson being left behind, this was the first place I held a rally at when I was with NSP in 2011," said Mr Goh, who was NSP's secretary-general at the time. He quit the party after the 2011 elections and set up PPP.

"It's only good for me to get back there to do something," he added.

MacPherson, a single ward which was merged with Marine Parade GRC in 1991, became an SMC again in the 2015 election.