DPM Heng Explains Why He’s Contesting in East Coast GRC & It’s Nothing to Do with Nicole Seah

Today is nomination day, and nothing much happened.

Politicians who could be representing us for the next five years filed their papers, and that’s about it: the only exciting things that happened were people rushing to the stage to wipe the mics and of course, the presence of Shirwin Eu whom we all miss dearly.

Except for one event.

DPM Heng Swee Keat’s sudden switch from Tampines GRC to East Coast GRC.

It’s so sudden, even the nomination paper was caught by surprise:

Image: Mothership.sg

No one knows what happened then: could he be standing in this constituency because he saw Nicole Seah there? Did he drive to the wrong place, and decided to just write his name there?

Well, the man has spoken, and just like any boomer, he has to do it via Facebook.

Cannot Afford a Gap in East Coast GRC

Lest you didn’t know, opposition Golden Girl Nicole Seah is contesting in East Coast GRC, the constituency that the Workers’ Party has been wrestling hard for in the last few elections.

In the last election, WP sent their second most-recognised team, comprising Leon Perera, Daniel Goh Pei Siong, Gerald Giam and Mohamed Fairoz Bin Shariff, to go up against the PAP. WP lost with 39.3% of the votes.

But four years before that, in 2011, WP managed to get a respectable 45.2% of the votes—back then, the team had included Png Eng Huat, who later became an MP for Hougang SMC.

Png Eng Huat has since retired from politics.

This election, the ruling party team in East Coast GRC comprises DPM Heng, Dr Maliki Osman, who’s a Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, new face Tan Kiat How, Cheryl Chan Wei Ling and former Managing Director of Microsoft Operations Jessica Tan Soon Neo.

Even the cats in East Coast had a shock because DPM Heng had started his political career in Tampines GRC and hadn’t left the constituency since then.

Goody Feed has exclusive footage of one cat:

Image: GIphy

There was also no hint before today that he’d be switched to another constituency, though he’s like Facebook Page Singapore Atrium Sale in recent days, appearing in many places to support his comrades.

No one would blame you if this image suddenly makes lots of sense:

So, is it because WP has just sent a star team to East Coast GRC, and the ruling party needs a star team, too?

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According to DPM Heng, it’s a firm no. Instead, this was a planned move.

In two hours, DPM Heng posted two updates on his Facebook Page.

In the first post, he said that after learning that two MPs in East Coast GRC were stepping down, there would be a succession gap there. He wondered if he should move to East Coast GRC and thought “long and hard about it” because he’s grown attached to Tampines and the people there.


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However, he believed that Tampines GRC has a “very good team”, and should he moved to another GRC, “Tampines residents will still be well taken care of.”

He wrote, “We cannot afford a gap in East Coast in these uncertain times. We need a full team that can take care of the residents and position them to come out of this crisis stronger than before. I told PM, I will move to East Coast.”

And ta-da: he appeared as a candidate in East Coast GRC today instead.

You can read the full post here:


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After that, he wrote another lengthy post about Tampines and about his work there for the last few years:

So no, it wasn’t because of Nicole Seah that we received such a shock today. Or because he loves Pulau Tekong (which is part of East Coast GRC).

Though it still doesn’t explain why the nomination papers had a shock, too.

What Workers’ Party Says

What does the Workers’ Party think of this move?


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Mr Pritam Singh, the secretary-general of Workers’ Party, said that it “sends an important signal” that the ruling party is taking their challenge seriously.

He added, “I would say we take their challenge equally seriously, which is why we put a strong slate of candidates in East Coast.”

So this General Elections, remember to watch the coasts: West Coast GRC and East Coast GRC. The popcorn we saved for movies can now finally be put to use.

In the meantime, if you’re wondering why we’re not voting online instead, you might want to watch this video (and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative videos!):

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: