In the last few elections, our eyes were usually on the usual GRCs that could have unpredictable results: Aljunied GRC, the very first GRC that the ruling party PAP lost since independence, Hougang SMC, the constituency that has been represented by an opposition member since 1991 and Jurong GRC, the GRC that has so much PAP support that you wonder if it’d one day reaches a record 100% PAP votes.
But this year, our attention turned elsewhere.
To two places with coastlines.
East Coast and West Coast.
Even if you’ve just awakened from a six-month sleep, your attention won’t be on COVID-19 but on Golden Girl Nicole Seah from Workers’ Party.
The 33-year-old impressed everyone, even former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, back in 2011 when she stood for election with National Solidarity Party (NSP). Her team lost and she went off the radar for nine years.
But no one forgets her because when she came back, her name was splashed in every headline. This time, she wore blue for Workers’ Party, a party that has elected members in Parliament since 1991.
No one knew where she’d contest until today, when she turned up in St Anthony’s Cannosian Primary School, the nomination centre for East Coast GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Sengkang GRC and Punggol West single seat.
She was unsurprisingly fielded in East Coast GRC, the constituency that Workers’ Party has been wrestling for in previous 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.
So yes: if it’s not obvious enough, I’ll spell it for you: WP is bent on winning East Coast GRC.
This year, WP sent Nicole Seah, Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim, Terence Tan and Dylan Ng, as the two more well-known members, Gerald Giam and Leon Perera, have moved to contest in Aljunied GRC instead.
It looks to be a tough fight for PAP…until DPM Heng was suddenly spotted in St Anthony’s Cannosian Primary School.
DPM Heng has been in Tampines GRC since he debuted, and the nomination centre for Tampines GRC isn’t St Anthony’s Cannosian Primary School.
Soon, it was confirmed: the person whom we see as Cai Shen Ye yesterday and Prime Minister tomorrow is joining the team in East Coast GRC.
Unless your name is Heng Swee Keat, no one had expected that.
Heck, even the nomination paper didn’t expect that because it appears that his name was written in instead of typed in.
This means our dear DPM Heng would be up against our dream girlfriend Nicole Seah.
In case you didn’t already know, a loss in this GRC means DPM Heng would not be able to become our Prime Minister.
Reader Bao: So that means Nicole Seah will be our Prime Minister instead?
Erm, it doesn’t work that way.
DPM Heng’s team comprises 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.
And here’s a fun fact: do you know that East Coast GRC is also responsible for Pulau Tekong?
Reader Bao: So that also means whoever wins East Coast GRC also control the recruits in Tekong?
Erm, it doesn’t work that way, too. Are our readers really so apolitical?
Now that you know why the east is so happening, let’s take a train ride to the west.
If you’ve downloaded our app and come in daily, you’d know why West Coast GRC is a constituency to look out for this election.
And it’s all due to one name: Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
Dr Tan, who’s 80 this year, has stood for the 2011 presidential election and lost by a slight margin of 0.35% to Tony Tan.
And the good doctor was once from the incumbent Government, PAP, and was the Member of Parliament for them in the then Ayer Rajah SMC from 1980 to 2006.
He then retired from politics in 2006, and the SMC was absorbed into the GRC we’re talking about now: West Coast GRC.
Back then, he was so popular, he got 88% of the votes in his last GE in 2001, getting 15,024 votes out of 17,420 votes. His opponent even lost the deposit, as one needs to garner at least 12.5% of the votes to get back the deposit.
Dr Tan did a Dr Mahathir a few years back—he set up his own party, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), which is now an opposition party.
You can read about all the political parties in Singapore here.
So now that he’s back in politics, he’d be back in the battleground that he’s familiar with, of course: West Coast GRC.
However, do note that back then, Ayer Rajah SMC has about 20,000 voters—now, West Coast GRC, which has 4 MPs instead of 1, has over 90K people turning up to vote in the last election.
And interestingly enough, there is now a major change in the line-up for the ruling party.
The former MPs for the GRC are Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, former minister Lim Hng Kiang, Foo Mee Har and Patrick Tay.
This year, however, only S Iswaran and Foo Mee Har remained in the team.
Instead, two former Jurong GRC members moved to West Coast GRC instead: Ang Wei Neng and Desmond Lee.
And Desmond Lee isn’t just an MP: his full name is Sir Henry Desmond Pritchard Lee (30 August 1908 – 8 December 1993), and he was an English classical scholar specialising in ancient philosophy who became a Fellow and tutor of Corpus Christi College—
Wait, that doesn’t sound right.
Editor: Did you kope the info from Wikipedia again?
Erm, yes. But I clicked directly from the West Coast GRC Wiki—
Editor: How many times have you and your professors say: never cite from Wikipedia!
Right. So, according to Google instead, Desmond Lee is the Minister for Social and Family Development and the Second Minister in the Ministry of National Development.
The last candidate for West Coast GRC is PAP new face Rachel Ong Sin Yen.
Needless to say, that’s a star team, and it includes two full ministers.
Reader Bao: So if PAP loses, does that mean Tan Cheng Bock will become the Minister for Communications and Information and the Minister for Social and Family Development?
I seriously hope Mr Bao isn’t an elector, if not our country is ruined.
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