Singapore | 2 Sept 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Four Sikhs are vying for seats in the Singapore Parliament in the Sept 11 general election, all from the Opposition parties.
The ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP), have not fielded any Sikh candidate in this polls.
The candidates are Pritam Singh and Gurmit Singh from the Worker’s Party (WP), Harminder Pal Singh from Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) and Sukdeu Singh from Singaporeans First (SingFirst).
The last general in 2011 saw two Sikh candidates winning: Inderjit Singh from the PAP and WP’s Pritam Singh. Harminder Pal ran and lost. [See story here].
Pritam, 39, and four fellow MPs from the party have been fielded to defend the Aljunied GRC.
GRCs, short for Group Representation Constituencies, is unique to the Singapore political landscape where political parties are required to field a team of between three to six candidates. At least one candidate in the team must belong to a minority race.
Gurmit, a 55-year old legal counsel in a property firm, is part of the WP team fielded for the Nee Soon GRC against a formidable PAP team led by Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.
Sukdeu, 64, had served the Singapore police force for 31 years before retiring in 2000. He joined SingFirst in 2014. He joins SingFirst chairman Ang Yong Guan and three others to compete for the Tanjong Pagar and Jurong GRC.
Harminder Pal is part of SDA’s six-person team for the Paris Ris-Punggol GRC.
The 2015 polls comes just after a euphoric golden jubilee of Singapore’s independence and is the first after the recent death of the republic’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, father to the current PAP leader Lee Hsien Loong.
The ruling PAP, the only ruling party known to Singaporeans every since its Independence, much like the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition across the border in Malaysia, has seen its popular votes sliding over time.
In 2011, PAP won 80 out of the 87 seats in Parliament but saw its popular drop to an all-time low of 60%.
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