SINGAPORE – The People’s Action Party (PAP) slate for West Coast GRC looks to be taking shape with Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee on board.
Mr Lee, 43, appeared at the party’s West Coast GRC branch at Clementi West Street 2 at 8am on Nomination Day. He smiled and waved at the media but declined to comment when asked if he will be contesting the GRC.
If confirmed, Mr Lee – who was previously MP for the adjacent Jurong GRC – will join Minister for Communications and Information S. Iwaran, 58, in a closely watched fight in West Coast GRC, facing off against former party comrade-turned-opposition candidate, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 80, of Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
The other members of the PAP line-up are expected to be two-term MP Foo Mee Har, 54; Mr Ang Wei Neng, 53, who also moved from Jurong GRC; and new face Rachel Ong, 47.
By 9am, all of the expected PAP candidates had arrived at the party branch where they huddled for coffee and a pow wow.
On the other side, Dr Tan heads a PSP line-up, which was earlier announced, comprising PSP assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai, 60, founder of a venture capital firm, and vice-chairman Hazel Poa, 50, a former secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party which contested Chua Chu Kang GRC in 2011.
Completing the team are Mr Jeffrey Khoo Poh Tiong, 51, Asia-Pacific chief marketing officer of global insurance and reinsurance broker Ed; and Mr Nadarajah Loganathan, 57, a retired senior Singapore Armed Forces officer and co-founder of a skills training firm.
Dr Tan, 80, was Ayer Rajah MP for 26 years from 1980 to 2006. The constituency was merged with West Coast GRC in 2006.
Mr Iswaran, the minister leading the PAP’s West Coast GRC team, was first elected MP in West Coast GRC in 1997 and has been in the constituency since.
The West Coast GRC contest had seemed headed for a three-way fight – which typically favours the incumbent – until the Reform Party (RP) announced last Wednesday that it would not be contesting there.
During the 2015 contest, the PAP team, consisting of Mr Iswaran, Ms Foo, Mr Lim Hng Kiang and Mr Patrick Tay, secured 78.57 per cent of the votes, against an RP team comprising party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Mr Andy Zhu, Ms Noraini Yunus and Mr Darren Soh.
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