Workers’ Party: EBRC has not explained decisions behind its report

Supporters of the Worker's Party cheer as they wait for results of Singapore's general election on 11 September 2015. (PHOTO: AP)

SINGAPORE — The Workers’ Party (WP) said on Friday (13 March) that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has not disclosed how it made the decisions behind its report released earlier in the day, “as is its custom”.

The opposition party, which holds seats in the 5-member Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and the Hougang Single Member Constituency (SMC) in Parliament, noted that the number of SMCs has increased from 13 to 14 in the EBRC report.    

“The EBRC has not explained why it chose to carve out some new SMCs while dissolving Sengkang West, Fengshan and Punggol East SMCs, areas where WP has been active for many years,” said the WP in a statement. 

Nonetheless, the WP said there is “finally clarity”, more than seven months after the EBRC was appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office. 

“The WP will decide on the areas where it can best serve Singaporeans, and make its announcement when the elections are called,” said the WP.

In the report, the EBRC recommended that Singapore increase the number of Members of Parliament from 89 to 93, and scrap 6-member GRCs.

In addition, there will be 14 SMCs and 17 GRCs, up from the current 13 SMCs and 16 GRCs. 

Other opposition parties

In response to the EBRC report, Singapore’s People Party (SPP) said now is not the time for “partisan politics” and called for national unity. 

“It would be nothing less than irresponsible for the government to call for a General Election (GE) while the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving,” SPP said on its Facebook page on Friday.

A day before the report was released, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) called on the ruling People’s Action Party to refrain from the “irresponsible act” of calling for the GE soon.

The SDP said in a media statement that all resources should be allocated to combat the coronavirus threat and that elections can come later.  

“We hope that the PAP will not capitalise on the crisis by holding the GE at this time as it will take away valuable resources needed to combat the virus outbreak and jeopardise the public's health and well-being...No to do so would signal that the PAP is putting its own interests over the people's safety,” the SDP added.

Meanwhile, Progress Singapore Party (PSP) said on Friday that it welcomed the release of the EBRC report “finally after taking a long eight months”.  

In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, a PSP spokesperson said in a statement via WhatsApp that the party is prepared for the GE “anytime”. But “with more than a year to go before reaching the constitutional time limit for the GE, PSP is of the view that we should concentrate on fighting the COVID-19 for now”, the spokesperson added.

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