Translated by Donaldson Tan.

This is a non-verbatim translation of a Lianhe Zaobao report 《肯尼思: 詹时中一度考虑加入革新党》 dated 24 Dec 2010. It was originally published as a facebook note on NAR facebook on 24 Dec 2010.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Chiam See Tong at a joint SPP-RP Walkabout in Bishan

Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Chiam See Tong at a joint SPP-RP Walkabout in Bishan

Reform Party (RP) Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam told Zaobao that Mr Chiam See Tong once considered to contest a GRC with the Reform Party during the next General Election. Mr Chiam is the Secretary-General of the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) and the Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir.

Mr Jeyaretnam said in an interview last night during the SPP Christmas Party that Mr Chiam took the initiative to express his interest to do so 2 months ago. The timing coincided with SPP’s internal strife.

Upon quizzed on how to share leadership should Mr Chiam joins RP, Mr Jeyaretnam said, “This is only a preliminary proposal. We have not furthered any discussion into this matter.”

Mr Chiam’s initiative could be the result of objection from other component parties to RP joining the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA). This imply that Mr Chiam may be considering to quit SPP, a political party that was set up for him 16 years ago, to join RP upon dissolution of Parliament.

However, Mr Chiam stressed last night that SDA remains his preferrential platform for contesting during the next General Election.

Zaobao asked Mr Chiam what his expectations of Opposition Unity are. He said, “The SDA remains the most ideal platform for Opposition Unity. There is no need for any political party to dissolve. If Kenneth Jeyaretnam joins the SDA, the SDA will grow stronger.”

RP has already given up on joining SDA a month ago, pending the SDA to resolve its internal differences. However, given the absence of other component parties at the SPP Christmas Party, it is unlikely of the SDA component parties to reconcile with one another in the short term.

Satay fragrance enveloped the void deck of Potong Pasir Block 108 last night as Malay hawkers grilled over 1000 sticks of Satay in-situ. The Christmas party represented Mr Chiam’s call for Opposition Unity as this was the first time the SPP invited other opposition political parties to celebrate Christmas with Potong Pasir residents.

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam led a 10-member delegation at the Christmas party representing the Reform Party. On the other hand, the National Solidarity Party (NSP) was represented by Chairman Mr Sebastian Teo and former NCMP Steve Chia.

On whether representatives from the Workers’ Party (WP) and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) were invited, Madam Lina Luo (aka Mrs Chiam) said that the SPP only invited opposition political parties that the SPP was familiar with.

Despite being component parties of the SDA, the Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS) and the Singapore Justice Party (SJP) were visibly absent at the Christmas Party. Madam Luo clarified: “They are Malay-Muslims. It is inappropriate to invite them to celebrate a Christian festival such as Christmas.”

When asked on the absence of PKMS and SJP, Mr Chiam evaded the question and replied: “I think it is time for you to eat Satay.”

Madam Luo also revealed to Zaobao that she intends to set up a Woman Wing in the SPP.

“Politics is not limited to women only in their twenties or thirties. As long as one is alive, one is capable of making contribution. Aung San Su Kyi is older than me and she is a successful female politician,” she said

She added, “In Parliament, there are female elected MPs from the ruling party but none from the Opposition. This is an imbalance.”

She also reiterated her intention to contest at her husband’s constituency Potong Pasir SMC at the next General Election. If elected, she would raise issues of concern to both men and women instead of focusing on woman’s issues and woman’s rights.

Below is the Mandarin transcript for the original Zaobao report.

肯尼思: 詹时中一度考虑加入革新党

(2010-12-24)● 游润恬 报道