Singapore GE2020: PAP's Melvin Yong and Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo will battle it out in Radin Mas

PAP's Melvin Yong will take on Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo in Radin Mas SMC. PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) moved former Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Melvin Yong to Radin Mas SMC, setting up a contest with the Reform Party's (RP) Kumar Appavoo for the hearts and minds of the 24,980 voters.

Both were seen heading into the nomination centre at Bendemeer Primary School on Tuesday (June 30) morning.

Mr Yong takes over from Mr Sam Tan, 61, who was the Radin Mas MP for three terms since 2006, and had served as Minister of State for Social and Family Development.

Mr Tan is retiring from politics.

Mr Yong, 48, is the assistant secretary-general of labour movement NTUC.

This is Mr Appavoo's second contest in the single-seat constituency.

He contested the 2015 General Election in a three-cornered fight that involved PAP's Mr Tan, and independent candidate Han Hui Hui.

Mr Appavoo won 12.71 per cent of the vote.

Mr Yong joined Tanjong Pagar GRC in the 2015 General Election, his first as a candidate.

The PAP team won 77.71 per cent of the vote in that election.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Mr Appavoo said the ongoing election will be unique because of the Covid-19 pandemic which affects everyone regardless of their background.

Stressing the importance of having alternative voices in Parliament, he added: "No doubt we have the incumbent (but) we also need to have members of the alternative parties on the other side.

"Let's add colour to the white we have at the moment."

Mr Yong, who spoke to the media separately, said he is not new to Radin Mas SMC.

"In fact over the last five years, I've met many of the residents through various community events that I attended.

"I've also worked very closely with the residents, the grassroots leaders and the stakeholders in Radin Mas, to implement many home upgrading, home improvement, town improvement projects," he added.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.