No horse-trading with RP over Nee Soon, PSP tells Shanmugam
There was no "horse-trading agreement" between the Reform Party (RP) and Progress Singapore Party (PSP), said PSP assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai yesterday.
He was responding to Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who called PSP's campaign for Nee Soon GRC "half-hearted" in a PAP press conference on Wednesday.
Mr Shanmugam, who will helm the PAP's Nee Soon slate in the July 10 polls, said in a Facebook post yesterday it was "dishonest" of PSP candidate Bradley Bowyer to deny his party offered to trade Nee Soon to RP for another constituency.
Addressing PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock, the minister wrote: "I think Nee Soon voters and the voters in Singapore need to know: Why (would) this candidate, whom you hand-picked, say something which was so obviously untrue? If no answer is given, it will speak volumes. It will also tell Singaporeans whether Dr Tan values honesty in his candidates."
Mr Leong responded in a Facebook post: "PSP is always committed to Nee Soon... There is no horse-trading agreement or negotiation between RP and ourselves with regards to Nee Soon or any other constituencies.
"As there are many opposition parties vying for the limited number of seats, various ideas were tossed up in the course of discussion, but that does not mean they were accepted, even as a basis for negotiation.
"Our Nee Soon team has prepared for months for this campaign, and the fact that they are here shows their commitment."
Last week, RP chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam said PSP would withdraw from "various grounds" in return for RP not standing in West Coast GRC, and PSP had offered to cede Nee Soon GRC, but RP decided not to contest it anyway.RP later accused PSP of reneging on an agreement not to contest Yio Chu Kang SMC.
During a walkabout there, Dr Tan insisted contesting Nee Soon was always "non-negotiable" for PSP, as was Yio Chu Kang SMC.
"To me, it is so trivial," he said of Mr Shanmugam's remarks. "It doesn't matter to me."
Mr Shanmugam responded on Facebook by posting screenshots of Mr Jeyaretnam's Twitter feed dated last Saturday. "Mr Leong is not being truth-ful. That is not 'negotiating'? What were they then doing?"
Mr Jeyaretnam said on Facebook yesterday: "It is extremely pleasing to me that (Mr) Shanmugam has publicly upheld me and my Facebook posts as truths to be relied on, but I am also confident in court that this would be thrown out as 'hearsay.'"
• ADDITIONAL REPORTING: SUE-ANN TAN