Chiam won't contest in upcoming GE

This article is more than 12 months old

Veteran opposition leader Chiam See Tong will not contest the coming general election.

The Singapore People's Party (SPP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced their slate of candidates for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC on Sunday (Aug 30) morning.

Mr Chiam, 80, the SPP's secretary-general, was excluded from the line-up in the constituency he contested in 2011 and will not stand due his age and health, according to his wife Mrs Lina Chiam.

However, Mr Chiam, who was Potong Pasir MP for 27 years, was present to give his backing to the joint team – comprising of DPP secretary-general Benjamin Pwee, 47, DPP chairman Hamim Aliyas, 55, former marketing manager Law Kim Hwee, 55, training company manager Abdillah Zamzuri, 31, and tech entrepreneur Bryan Long, 37 – that will contest under the SPP banner.

Mr Chiam said: "As you've seen for yourself we have a strong team here, a very good line-up. They are professionals with good experience."

Mr Pwee and Mr Hamim, who both contested Bishan-Toa Payoh with Mr Chiam in 2011, both quit their posts in the DPP to join SPP as election rules state that candidates for a GRC team must either come from one party or consist solely of independents.

Mr Pwee will co-lead the team with Mr Long, who is making his GE debut like his fellow SPP teammates, Mr Abdillah and Mr Law.

Despite his exclusion, Mr Chiam nixed suggestions that he was retiring from politics by saying: "I've got a long way to go."

At the last election, Mr Chiam's SPP team garnered 43.1 per cent of Bishan-Toa Payoh's votes against the People's Action Party (PAP) team led by Dr Ng Eng Hen.

chiam see tongSingapore ElectionsBishanpoliticsSingapore People's PartyDemocratic Progressive PartyDPP