Workers' Party will continue to walk the ground in Marine Parade despite loss

WP's Yee Jenn Jong speaking at a rally on Sept 5.
WP's Yee Jenn Jong speaking at a rally on Sept 5. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The opposition Workers' Party (WP) will continue to work the ground in the Marine Parade GRC despite losing to the People's Action Party (PAP), WP's Yee Jenn Jong said on Saturday (Sept 12) morning.

Speaking to reporters before the team made their rounds around the GRC to thank residents for their support, Mr Yee, 50, said: "(This) is the way the WP has always functioned. We will like to come back to the places where we have contested in and we won't quit."

The WP team, which also includes Mr Terence Tan, Mr Dylan Ng, Mr Firuz Khan and Ms He Ting Ru, lost with 35.9 per cent of the vote against the PAP team comprising Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, ESM Goh Chok Tong, Mr Seah Kian Peng, Ms Fatimah Lateef and Mr Edwin Tong.

Mr Yee was the team leader of the five-member WP slate fielded for the GRC in this general election. But whether he will continue to lead the effort depends on the party's leadership, he said.

"The question is, would it be me? It really depends on what plans the party has and also, how many more years I think I can carry on."

Mr Yee said that he had depended on voters in Joo Chiat to win the Marine Parade GRC. "I saw that even Joo Chiat swung... and if Joo Chiat swung against me, there's no chance at all." The vote share in Joo Chiat for this General Election had dropped compared to the last election, when it was about 50-50, said Mr Yee.

Mr Yee contested in Joo Chiat SMC during the 2011 General Election and lost to the PAP's Charles Chong by only 388 votes. The SMC was absorbed into the Marine Parade GRC for this general election.

On Saturday morning, the WP also held several other thank you processions in other constituencies it contested. Candidates from the party made their rounds in East Coast GRC, which it lost to the PAP with a vote share of 39.3 per cent, and at Fengshan SMC, which it lost with a vote share of 42.5 per cent.

At Punggol East SMC, incumbent WP candidate Lee Li Lian lost to PAP challenger Charles Chong, with a vote share of 48.2 per cent. She was spotted going around the estate in a lorry for about 2 1/2 hours, greeting residents who were waving WP flags and blow-up hammers.

Ms Lee told reporters there that she had decided not to run for the Non-Constituency MP role even before she reached the WP assembly centre at Hougang Stadium after the results were announced on Friday night, as she thought there were other candidates, such as those fielded in Fengshan SMC and East Coast GRC, who are more deserving of the role.

She added: "I have not seen my daughter from yesterday until now. I think being a full-time mother doesn't seem to be a bad idea." Her daughter is 14 months old and is being cared for by Ms Lee's parents.

When asked if the party was disappointed by the results, she said: "Perhaps (we are) disappointed. But we will come back stronger. We have done it before and we will do it again."

The WP retains six seats in Parliament - five in Aljunied GRC and one in Hougang SMC.

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Correction note: An earlier version of this story said that the vote share in Joo Chiat for this General Election stood near 50-50. That is incorrect. We are sorry for the error.