Two opposition parties eyeing Jurong GRC

Red Dot United and the Peoples Voice party intend to contest Jurong GRC. PHOTOS: PEOPLES VOICE/INSTAGRAM, SCREENGRAB FROM REDDOTUNITED.SG

Singapore's newest political party, Red Dot United (RDU), said yesterday that it intends to contest Jurong GRC as no other opposition party had claimed the constituency - only for the Peoples Voice (PV) party to then throw its hat into the ring.

In a statement yesterday where it unveiled its logo and mission statement, RDU said it would field candidates in the constituency if no other parties did so.

"At present, we have open lines of dialogue with the other opposition parties and none of them have currently indicated they will be contesting Jurong GRC," said the party. "If this constituency remains unchallenged, RDU will represent the opposition to the best of our ability."

Hours after the party declared its intentions, PV chief Lim Tean announced on Facebook that his party would be contesting Jurong GRC. "PV has been in active talks with our friends from the other opposition parties and after much consultation, we have decided that PV will be sending a very strong team of five candidates to contest in that GRC for the coming GE."

When asked about the announcement, a spokesman for RDU said it would give way if PV showed up on Nomination Day, but would continue making plans for the constituency. "We will continue to make plans to contest there as many things can happen before Nomination Day comes around," he said.

"RDU chief Ravi Philemon spoke to Lim Tean last week and said we were considering Jurong and Lim Tean mentioned PV was focusing on another constituency, among a few he was considering. Jurong was not among them," he added.

RDU was registered as a political party on Monday. It was formed less than a month ago and submitted its application for registration on May 26. Its entry means that a record 12 opposition parties could contest the next general election.

Yesterday, RDU introduced its mission statement: "Politics with Principles, Vision with Values".

It also unveiled a red and white compass as its logo.

"Just as a compass does, RDU will strive to consistently point towards the principles and values which must be present in the decision-making process of the Government and country," said the party.

RDU, which has 12 members so far, is helmed by former PSP members Ravi Philemon, 52, and Michelle Lee, 43. The Straits Times understands the party will be unveiling the candidates it will be fielding next week.

In the last general election in 2015, the People's Action Party (PAP) team, led by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, won more than 79 per cent of the votes in Jurong GRC - defeating the Singaporeans First party and making it the best-performing ward for the PAP in that election.

Besides Mr Tharman, the current MPs for Jurong GRC are Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs Tan Wu Meng, as well as Mr Ang Wei Neng and Ms Rahayu Mahzam.

Meanwhile, Mr Ivan Li Shaw Chuan, 41, a general manager of Keppel Shipyard, and Mr Shawn Huang, 37, a director at Singapore investment company Temasek and a former fighter pilot, are tipped to be potential new election candidates for the PAP in Jurong GRC, having been spotted at community events and walkabouts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2020, with the headline Two opposition parties eyeing Jurong GRC. Subscribe