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GE2020: Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC see PAP and SPP face-off

Nomination papers are up at Bendemeer Primary School, the nomination centre for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC, Jalan Besar GRC and Radin Mas SMC.jpg
Nomination papers are up at Bendemeer Primary School, the nomination centre for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC, Jalan Besar GRC and Radin Mas SMC.

THE Bishan-Toa Payoh group representation constituency (GRC) will see the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Singapore People's Party (SPP) face off again. 

The PAP is fielding Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat, Saktiandi Supaat, and Chong Kee Hiong.

Representation in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC was reduced from five to four MPs for the coming General Election, with a new single member constituency, Marymount, carved out from Bishan North. 

The SPP's four candidates comprise secretary-general Steve Chia, vice-chairman Williiamson Lee, who has been volunteering with the party since 2006, Osman Sulaiman, who owns a media design business and contested the previous two elections as a candidate for the Reform Party, and Melvyn Chiu, who owns a pet shop and contested the 2015 General Election as a member of the SingFirst party.

At a doorstop at the nomination centre, the PAP's Dr Ng said if his team and Gan Siow Huang who is running for Marymount SMC are elected, they would like to run as a single town council, citing economies of scale.

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SPP's Mr Chia meanwhile said the team's commitment to residents is that if elected they will be full-time MPs and not part-time MPs. He added that there is a need for balance in Parliament and that "there is no need for 93 MPs to express the PAP’s point of view".

This is the SPP's first election without the Chiams. Opposition veteran Chiam See Tong stepped down as secretary-general of the SPP last year.

His wife, Lina Chiam, who contested Potong Pasir in the last two elections, is taking care of her husband, Mr Chia had said in earlier interview, adding that it is not advisable for her to interact with people in the midst of Covid-19.

Mr Chiam remains an ordinary party member while Mrs Chiam is a member of the SPP central executive committee. 

The SPP launched its manifesto on Sunday, calling for the voting age to be reduced from 21 to 18, and for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be held at the current 7 per cent. 

The PAP and SPP also squared off in the 2015 GE. The PAP team, led by Mr Ng, won 73.59 per cent of the vote for the constituency. The SPP team was co-led by then-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chief Benjamin Pwee and SPP's Bryan Long. Mr Pwee resigned from DPP party and has joined SPP.

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