SINGAPORE - Voters can expect the People's Action Party (PAP) to formally introduce its candidates for the coming general election soon after National Day.
But unlike in previous years, where they were introduced by ministers, the new faces may also be introduced by the retiring MPs whom they will take over.
This format is more deliberate and dignified and will ensure a smooth transition, Dr Ng Eng Hen, the PAP's organising secretary, told reporters in an interview at his Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC on Sunday, after handing out National Day funpacks to residents in Toa Payoh.
Asked when the introductions will take place, Dr Ng, who is Defence Minister, said: "It will be soon, as early as possible."
"Hopefully, let's try to allow some time to get across the National Day weekend, and after that, we can decide," he added.
The PAP has traditionally seen one in four of its incumbent MPs retire in the past few elections, and this year is set to see a similar renewal of its ranks.
Party chairman Khaw Boon Wan had said on Saturday that candidates for the PAP can be expected to set out their plans for their constituencies very soon.
On Sunday, Dr Ng said this time round, many of the new faces have also been on the ground in various constituencies for the past one to two years.
Where they are seen is likely where they are going to be fielded, he added.
Dr Ng also disclosed that the PAP had formed its general election committee, which he leads, earlier this year to prepare and plan for the hustings.
It includes several ministers as well as younger office-holders and MPs like Ms Sim Ann, Mr Desmond Lee and Mr Alex Yam, he added.
Dr Ng also said the PAP has told its candidates not to conduct negative campaigning at the election, saying such methods may be common in other countries, but would not be good for Singapore.
This did not preclude pointing out the flaws of other candidates' parties and their proposals, he said.
But the party should steer clear of personal attacks, he added.
Dr Ng also said that the coming election would be a "watershed" one, as it is the first since the passing of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
But, he added: "The PAP has been preparing for the coming general election for almost four years."