The elder son of the late opposition leader Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, Kenneth is contesting in the Punggol East by-election against three other candidates including WP’s Lee Li Lian who contested in the single seat ward in the 2011 General Election where she garnered 41% of the votes.
Speaking to the media at the nomination center, Kenneth accused Lee for not doing anything for the stalled renovation works at Rivervale Plaza:
“I’m here to highlight the fact that previously work stopped in February, March, and nothing happened until I raised the issue. Why did it take so long? Where were they in the last 18 months? And why didn’t (Workers’ Party candidate) Lee Li Lian not raise the issue?
He added that his party has done more for Punggol East than the WP MPs in parliament who are often conspicuous by their collective silence:
“The Reform Party has accomplished more for Punggol East than the nine Opposition MPs in Parliament, because we visited Rivervale in September, publisicised it, and got a reaction from the Government.”
Responding to public criticisms that she has been ‘missing in action’ in Punggol East for the past one year, Lee gave a nonchalant reply that she still visited Punggol East “on occasion” despite being “preoccupied” with her duties as legislative assistant to one of the WP MPs.
Kenneth also revealed shocking details of WP Chief Low Thia Kiang’s blatant refusal to meet up with him to discuss a strategy for Punggol East:
“How can there be Opposition unity when one party won’t sit down and talk? The idea that you can ‘chope’ (reserve) a constituency is ridiculous and unfair to the people of Singapore. How will you ever get new parties, new ideas?”
Though it has shamelessly appealed to opposition voters during elections promising to check on the PAP, the Workers Party MPs seldom show any signs of challenging the PAP in parliament.
In the aftermath of the 2011 General Election, WP newbie MP Pritam Singh publicly declared that the Workers Party will form a coalition government with the PAP if it fails to get a majority in the next election. Low Thia Kiang did not condemn or refute his statements.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam graduated with a double honors from the prestigious Cambridge University and works as a hedge fund manager while Lee Li Lian is currently working as a ‘sales manager’.