SINGAPORE: After going public with its correspondence with the Workers’ Party (WP) — which showed the WP continually ignoring its overtures to come to the negotiating table — Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Secretary—General Chee Soon Juan said on Monday that the party "knew all along" that its proposal to WP would be rebuffed.
The SDP had proposed that the two parties jointly campaign in the Punggol East by—election, field an SDP candidate and have the WP run the town council, or vice versa.
By introducing its candidate on Monday afternoon, the WP formally rebuffed the SDP’s proposal.
"We knew that all along, we are going to just have to do it, do whatever we have decided and go on," said Dr Chee. He was speaking to reporters last night, after a two—and—a—half hour meeting at the SDP headquarters to select the party’s candidate for the coming polls.
Dr Chee said that choosing a candidate was a "difficult decision", but he declined to elaborate. Details would be revealed at a press conference on Tuesday, he said.
Of the SDP members likely to be fielded, only SDP Treasurer Vincent Wijeysingha — who contested in the 2011 General Election (GE) — was present at the meeting on Monday.
Medical doctor Paul Tambyah, also touted as a potential candidate, was not present in the evening or earlier meetings held in the afternoon. When contacted by TODAY, Dr Tambyah said he would be present at the press conference on Tuesday.
When contacted, SDP member Ang Yong Guan — who was among the names thrown up by the media — said he decided not to run as "there are already enough good candidates".
Asked what he thought of the WP’s decision to ignore the SDP’s overtures, Dr Ang said he was not surprised, adding that their decision to field Ms Lee Li Lian was "brilliant, as they can leverage on the 41 per cent (the percentage of votes that Ms Lee garnered in the last GE), so they are putting up a familiar face. They also show they aren’t worried about the credentials of (PAP candidate) Dr Koh (Poh Koon)."
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