NSP's Steve Chia pulls out of MacPherson SMC contest

NSP's Steve Chia pulls out of MacPherson SMC contest
NSP's Steve Chia shakes hands with Dr Ang Yong Guan of Singaporeans First during their respective walkabouts around Tampines Street 81 on July 26, 2015.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has once again pulled out from contesting in the MacPherson single member constituency (SMC).

In a Facebook post on Sunday, NSP council member Steve Chia announced that he will no longer be standing in MacPherson in the coming General Election.

"It is with anguish and deep sadness that my lifelong ambition to be the people's spokesman in Parliament ends today," he wrote.

In the post, he also exclaimed that "the trolls have won".

Mr Chia, who is a former Non-Constituency MP, added that he hoped the Workers' Party (WP), who will be contesting in MacPherson SMC, will "send a strong candidate ... and take #KateSpade out of Parliament", in an apparent jibe at incumbent MP Tin Pei Ling of the People's Action Party (PAP).

"She is not as strong nor popular as rumours put it out to be. She has improved, definitely. But many older residents still do not really know her nor like her. Some have not seen her till recently too," he wrote.

In his post, Mr Chia also included a link to a website that purports to feature his profile, but denied setting it up and said some of the facts there were incorrect.

The NSP's withdrawal paves the way for a straight fight between PAP, who have announced that they will be fielding Ms Tin, and the WP in the single seat. WP has not yet announced their candidate.

WP had said that it will be standing in MacPherson SMC on Jul 26, when it announced that it will contest five group representation constituencies and five SMCs in the coming election.

NSP had initially withdrawn their intention to contest there on Aug 10 to avoid setting-up a three-cornered fight with WP. But the party made a U-turn on Aug 19, saying that it would be fielding Mr Chia and explaining that it had received pledges of suport from many residents there.

The announcement prompted NSP acting secretary-general Hazel Poa to resign from the party due to her strong disagreement with the decision.

MacPherson was revived as an SMC in the latest electoral boundaries review, having been a part of Marine Parade GRC in the 2011 General Election.

See also: More stories on the upcoming General Election

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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