NSP says it still intends to contest in MacPherson, contradicts Facebook post by Steve Chia

National Solidarity Party members Nicky Tan, Spencer Ng, Cheo Chai Chen, Kevryn Lim and Jan Chan greet MacPherson residents at the Circuit Road Block 89 Food Centre during a walkabout on 2 August, 2015.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The National Solidarity Party (NSP) is committed to contesting in the MacPherson single member constituency, party organising secretary Spencer Ng confirmed on Monday, stressing that Mr Steve Chia's withdrawal did not affect their decision.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting at the party's headquarters in Jalan Besar, Mr Ng said that the CEC had collectively decided to contest in MacPherson, and was standing by its choice.

The latest announcement appears to contradict a Facebook post by NSP council member Steve Chia last Sunday stating that he was withdrawing from MacPherson. He also wished the Workers' Party well and urged it to send a good candidate.

The NSP did not comment on Mr Chia's post until Monday night, when Mr Ng said simply: "MacPherson is still on."

"We've been there for 10 years and we want to go back because many residents had requested that we do," he added.

Mr Ng's remarks amount to NSP seemingly reversing its decision of whether to contest in MacPherson three times within a week.

The party declared last Wednesday that it would contest in MacPherson SMC after it said earlier that it would bow out so as to prevent a three-corner fight with the People's Action Party and the Workers' Party. Acting secretary-general Hazel Poa quit in protest on the same day.

On Sunday, Mr Chia indicated that NSP was pulling out only for Mr Ng to contradict him a day later.

Mr Ng said that Monday's meeting was for elections preparations, and was not about party succession. He added that the party's election manifesto will be out "in the next few days".

Besides Mr Ng, other NSP members in attendance were Mr Eugene Yeo, Mr Elvin Ong, Mr Nicky Tan, Mr Yadzeth Haris and party new face Kevryn Lim. Neither Mr Chia nor party chairman Sebastian Teo were present.

This article was first published on August 24, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.