Residents 'are not for horse trading'

Residents should not be treated as votes and horse traded between political parties during election season.

That is the view of Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who was speaking to reporters yesterday after a walkabout in Tai Keng Gardens.

"Competition (at the polls) allows residents to have choices, and it also keeps (MPs) on our toes to stay focused on what's important, which is the people, not about horse trading."

His comments come after the National Solidarity Party (NSP) drew flak for its recent U-turn to contest in MacPherson SMC, and, in the process, reneging on a pact it made with other opposition parties.

The agreement to avoid three-cornered fights at the coming general election was made after two rounds of "horse trading" talks between opposition parties, hosted by the NSP earlier this month.

MacPherson SMC used to be under Marine Parade GRC, but it was carved out as a single-seat ward for the next polls.

Mr Tan, who is part of the team in Marine Parade GRC, said he has always welcomed competition in his constituency. "For us... work didn't start because the elections are coming," he said. "It just never ceased, and we keep improving where we can."

The People's Action Party has yet to announce its full line-up for Marine Parade GRC, but Mr Tan added that he is "looking forward" to Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef's continued service as part of his team. "She has been working the ground here for many years, she knows the residents by name."

This article was first published on Aug 24, 2015.
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