If ever there is any reason closer to the truth as to why the Workers Party team in Aljunied GRC and Punggol East remains intact is not exactly that they took PAP seriously as Goh Chok Tong has said. The WP has always taken PAP seriously, not just Aljunied GRC this time round. GCT is not exactly wrong either.
You would have noticed I had never included Hougang in the equation all along, and I guessed this is fully understood by all.
To add to that, it would become controversial if Low Thia Khiang suddenly decides to take back Hougang from Png Eng Huat. What will that signals? No it is suicide to do that.
Back to Aljunied and Punggol, and these are one unofficially.
First reason closer to the truth for the Aljunied Punggol WP team to remain intact is the two-heads factor. Sylvia Lim & Low Thia Khiang. Remember Sylvia Lim did not win any elections until Low abandoned his Hougang seat and brought Slyvia Lim up to be full MP in 2011. Since then, Sylvia Lim becomes the de facto boss and public face of the WP. She has created much opportunities for media coverage as also Chairman of AHPETC.
From cleaning of ceilings, penalizing exorbitantly of stall holders, operating fairs without permits to the inability of keeping financial records proper and to date.
We are not sure if there is any power tussle issues between the two heads of Singapore's leading opposition party, so we cannot rule that out totally, and we have to factor in this to figure out what is happening.
First it was Low who alone and unanimously declared he will remain without mentioning the others. It would be fine if the rest can wait till a better time nearer to nomination or even at nomination. It is common and normal to keep one's card close to the chest.
Then not long after, Sylvia Lim made the announcement that sounded more official than that of Low Thia Khiang. It makes people puzzled.
Let's consider if Low leads a team in Aljunied and Sylvia Lim leads another in any other GRC. What happens thereafter?
If both wins, the status of Sylvia Lim will be further elevated as against Low, and no longer needs to bear the stigma of it was Low's coat tail that parachuted her into parliament. This adds to further frictions when it comes to differences in ideas and decision making.
If Low wins and Sylvia Lim crashed out and lost with Low keeping Aljunied, Low will be able to stabilize the internal dynamics at play within the party. Don't forget that throughout the last parliament term, several of Low's original team left the Workers Party on not so amicable circumstances.
Thereafter with Sylvia Lim no longer an elected MP, Low can reorganized the town council and set the directions without having to consider Sylvia Lim's consent.
Comparing the chances of winning between Aljunied and another GRC, the chances of a win for Aljunied is a possibility and an almost firm lost for any other GRC. Let me explain later.
Therefore, using Sylvia LIm's favourite words this season, on assessment it is prudent for her and her followers to stick with Low Thia Khiang in Aljunied. Considering the pros and cons, even if there is a total crash out for the WP, the positions between the two heads of WP will have little change.
Now why is there an almost firm lost for the WP should Slyvia Lim goes to another GRC? This is also one of Sylvia Lim's detailed assessment.
All of Singapore knows that the Aljunied GRC is having "challenges", a word used by Sylvia Lim to describe their problems with AHPETC's financial management. Whether they are good at the end of the day or they will come out stink, no other GRC would want such issues happen inside their courtyard. This is not about First World Parliament anymore.
Given a sure lose wherever Sylvia Lim goes, she has to decide to cuddle with Low in Aljunied to strengthen their chances. Unfortunately looking at the circumstances, she may be the nemesis for Workers Party this time round.