ALL seven Workers' Party (WP) elected MPs will stay on to defend their seats in the constituencies they now hold, party chairman Sylvia Lim said yesterday.
This is because residents in areas such as Aljunied GRC, which the party won at the 2011 General Election, have stuck by and encouraged them.
"So it is meaningful for us to remain as a team to seek their mandate for the next term," she said, as she dismissed speculation that she or other Aljunied GRC MPs could be redeployed to head teams in GRCs elsewhere where the party intends to contest.
A photograph last week of Ms Lim on her Instagram account of her eating at Fengshan Market and Food Centre also set off speculation that she might contest the newly created single-seat ward.
But Ms Lim, speaking to reporters during the WP's sale of its newsletter, Hammer, at Chong Pang Market and Food Centre, said: "We are here to tell everyone that while all our MPs will be assisting all our candidates to contest in the wards we have announced, the Aljunied GRC team will remain intact to contest the coming election.
"We have found our experience in Aljunied to be fulfilling and, at the same time, we have also had our challenges as you know. And throughout this period, there have been residents who have inspired us by coming forward to give us encouragement because they believe in us.
"So on consideration, we decided that it is meaningful for us to remain as a team to seek their mandate for the next term."
The same applies to the two single-member constituencies of Hougang and Punggol East, which WP also holds.
This means party chief Low Thia Khiang, Ms Lim, Chen Show Mao, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap and Pritam Singh will contest in Aljunied GRC.
Png Eng Huat will stand in Hougang SMC, while Lee Li Lian will contest Punggol East SMC.
Asked to respond to criticism by the People's Action Party (PAP) of the WP's handling of its town council, Ms Lim said the party would leave it to "our residents and the public to judge, on the town council front, whether we have short-changed our residents be it in estate cleanliness, maintenance, lift breakdowns and so on".
As for questions that have been raised about the financial well-being of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council, the council's vice-chairman, Mr Png, said the council was working to close its accounts by the end of this month, so any discussion about finances would be more meaningful after that.
At the same event, Mr Low dismissed remarks on Friday by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean who, in response to reporters' questions about Mr Low's expression of regret that Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew would stand down at the next election, said that the opposition leader was shedding "crocodile tears".
Yesterday, Mr Low suggested that DPM Teo's response was made because Mr Low's comments about Mr Lui did not go down well with the PAP, as "good advice is hard on the ears".
"As a DPM, with due respect, he wanted to comment in that way," Mr Low said, referring to the "crocodile tears" comment.
"Let Singaporeans judge and see (that) this is the kind of standard of the PAP in politics. Is this the kind of politics that we want in the future? What do we want the future of Singapore to be: Do we want to be more civilised in our political engagement? We are not a Third World country. But I think the voters will have to decide."
Get MyPaper for more stories.