SDP focused on ‘quality not quantity’ of its GE2020 candidates: Chee Soon Juan

(SCREENSHOT: Singapore Democratic Party's Secretary General Chee Soon Juan speaking to the media at a walkabout in Bukit Batok on 28 June 2020/Facebook)
(SCREENSHOT: Singapore Democratic Party's Secretary General Chee Soon Juan speaking to the media at a walkabout in Bukit Batok on 28 June 2020/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has ensured that the candidates it is fielding for the 10 July General Election (GE) are selected on the basis of “quality not quantity”, said its Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan on Sunday (29 June).

Dr Chee was responding to a question about the fewer number of candidates that the opposition is expected to field this GE compared with GE2015 during a walkabout in Bukit Batok.

Among the changes in the opposition slate this GE, the Workers’ Party said that it will have 21 candidates contesting in six constituencies, compared with 28 candidates in 10 constituencies in GE2015.

The Democratic Progressive Party on Saturday said it has pulled out of this GE. In the previous election, it contested two seats under the Singapore People's Party banner.

Singaporeans First on Thursday announced its dissolution just days before Nomination Day (30 June), saying that the decision was made to avoid three-corner fights against other opposition parties. In GE2015, it fielded 10 candidates in two GRCs.

Dr Chee, who is contesting in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC), said that while the SDP cannot speak on behalf of the opposition, it has made sure that all its GE candidates are vetted and that they are committed to various issues and be able to speak up for Singaporeans in Parliament.

“You can put out a hundred candidates and if they cannot perform, they are not dedicated to the issues in their town councils and the estate in Parliament, then there’s no use. They are just going to be a flower vase, a potted plant, just bai sui (ornamental display in Hokkien),” said Dr Chee in a video posted on his Facebook page.

In addition to Bukit Batok, the SDP will be contesting in the Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituencies, as well as the Bukit Panjang and Yuhua SMCs, the same as in GE2015.

Dr Chee said the issues of retrenchment and jobs were among the key concerns aired by Singaporeans during the SDP walkabouts. He also reiterated his stance that Members of Parliament should fulfill their responsibilities to residents on a full-time basis.

When asked about the retirement of about 20 MPs from the ruling People’s Action Party, Dr Chee said there will be no difference in what their replacements will bring to Parliament.

Dr Chee said, “They are all going to continue to toe the party line, they are going to go for these price increases, taxes, and they are opposed to (the SDP’s proposed) retrenchment insurance.”

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