Whether you’re reading this in the early morning of 11 July 2020 or the later part of the day, you’d know that this year’s election is, indeed, rather exciting.
While PAP still retains enough seats to form the Government, there’s been some drastic changes in the GRCs, though the results for SMCs are pretty expected.
Before this election, back in 2015, there were 89 seats that were up for grabs, and PAP won 83 seats while Workers’ Party won 6. There were then 29 electoral divisions (16 GRCs and 13 SMCs), and the PAP won 15 GRCs and 12 SMCs, while Workers’ Party won 1 GRC and 1 SMC.
In this election, 93 seats are up for grabs with 31 electoral divisions (17 GRCs and 14 SMCs).
As usual, in all the SMCs, Workers’ Party retained its seat in Hougang while the rest of the seats are won by PAP.
Here’s everything you should know about the battlegrounds led by sole soldiers.
Bukit Batok (PAP’s Murali Pillai vs SDP’s Chee Soon Juan)
This is one everyone’s looking forward to, and it’s not because the Goody Feed office is housed in Bukit Batok.
The seat in Bukit Batok SMC was previously won by People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Mr David Ong in 2015, but he later resigned after there were allegations that he was involved in an extra-marital affair.
Following the incident, Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Dr Chee Soon Juan went up against PAP’s Mr Murali Pillai to contest for the seat in 2016.
Mr Murali eventually won the seat and took over Mr Ong.
During this year’s General Election, Dr Chee is once again going up against Mr Murali. You’d know who Dr Chee is; the man has been involved in politics even before you were born, and while he has lost in all, he’s never once given up.
This election, he, once again, lost to his long-time rival, though the results are a tad better: in the 2017 by-election, he got 38.79% of the votes instead.
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Bukit Panjang (PAP’s Liang Eng Hwa vs SDP’s Paul Tambyah)
The seat in Bukit Panjang SMC was previously won by PAP’s Dr Teo Ho Pin. He outdid SDP’s Khung Wai Yeen, garnering 68.4% of the votes.
It was expected that Mr Khung would once again compete for the Bukit Panjang SMC seat since he was seen on the ground at Bukit Panjang meeting members of the public.
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But in a turn of events, SDP chairman, Paul Tambyah, one of the most respected opposition party member, stepped up to contest in this SMC.
Dr Tambyah is a professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and was initially expected to contest for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
He is an infectious disease expert who will be heading the Massachusetts-based International Society of Infectious Diseases in 2022.
He is going against PAP’s Liang Eng Hwa.
Mr Liang served residents in Zhenghua for the past 14 years as part of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, but he will be contesting for Bukit Panjang SMC this time.
Dr Tambyah’s loss, together with Dr Chee’s loss, means that SDP won’t be elected into parliament as both have been considered the leading candidates in the party.
Hong Kah North (PAP’s Amy Khor vs PSP’s Gigene Wong)
The seat in Hong Kah North SMC was previously won by PAP’s Amy Khor after she outdid Singapore People’s Party’s Ravi Philemon by garnering 74.76% of the votes.
This time, Dr Khor will be going against Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) Gigene Wong.
Ms Wong has just returned to Singapore at the beginning of the year after spending 20 years in China. She was previously the chief executive of Gulf Oil China and the chief financial officer of Foshan Electrical and Lighting.
She also made the promise that if she were to be elected, she will move to Hong Kah North from her current home in Ang Mo Kio.
She said, “I will contest wholeheartedly. I believe my voice, my heart will reach the people because I’m very down to earth, I’m not atas (high-class). If I’m elected, I will live there, so people can find me.”
Well, guess she won’t need to move to the west after all.
Hougang (PAP’s Lee Hong Chuang vs WP’s Dennis Tan)
The seat in Hougang SMC was previously won by Worker’s Party’s (WP) Png Eng Huat who outdid PAP’s Lee Hong Chuang after garnering 57.69% of the votes.
Hougang SMC has been helmed by WP since the General Election in 1991 where WP’s Low Thia Khiang went against PAP’s Tang Guan Seng.
This time, WP’s Dennis Tan will be going against PAP’s Lee Hong Chuang.
Mr Tan who is a shipping lawyer is determined to defend the Hougang SMC seat. He is not an unfamiliar face as he previously shadowed Mr Png in the last three years.
You might also remember him from the 2015 General Election where he contested for Fengshan SMC but ultimately lost to PAP’s Cheryl Chan after he garnered only 42.5% of the votes. Despite losing, he got a seat as a Non-Constituency MP because he was one of the best-performing losers during that election.
Mr Lee is a senior IT manager and is chairman of PAP’s Hougang branch.
And by the way, despite the change in the candidate, it’s no surprise that Workers’ Party won. Do you know the ward has been under Workers’ Party since 1991?
Kebun Baru (PAP’s Henry Kwek vs PSP’s Kumaran Pillai)
Kebun Baru is a new SMC that has been carved out from the Nee Soon GRC. It previously existed in the 1980s until 1991 before it was absorbed into the Ang Mo Kio GRC.
29 years later, Kebun Baru SMC is re-introduced.
Before Kebun Baru SMC was carved out of Nee Soon GRC, PAP’s Henry Kwek was the one in charge of the Kebun Baru ward since 2015.
This time, Mr Kwek is going against PSP’s Kumaran Pillai.
Mr Kumaran was the former chief editor of The Online Citizen before he moved on the become a stakeholder and publisher of The Independent Singapore.
Despite earlier interest expressed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to contest for the seat, they ultimately pulled out of the election so that a three-corner fight does not occur.
Even without a three-corner fight, PAP’s Mr Kwek has a rather decisive win.
MacPherson (PAP’s Tin Pei Ling vs PPP’s Goh Meng Seng)
The seat in MacPherson SMC was previously won by PAP’s Tin Pei Ling after she defeated both WP’s Bernard Chen and National Solidarity Party’s Cheo Chai Chen, garnering 65.58% of the votes.
Tin Pei Ling will be going against People’s Power Party’s (PPP) Goh Meng Seng this time.
This is the only constituency that PPP is contesting for so Mr Goh is seen as the party’s sole representative. In 2006, he contested for Aljunied GRC with WP and in 2011, he contested as the leader of NSP for Tampines GRC.
PPP previously contested for Chua Chu Kang GRC in 2015 but lost to PAP after garnering only 23.11% of the votes.
This year is also Ms Tin’s best result and one of the best results by PAP; back in 2015, she had won with 65.58% of the votes. If you need inspiration for a comeback story, read Ms Tin’s story.
Marymount (PAP’s Gan Siow Huang vs PSP’s Ang Yong Guan)
Marymount SMC is also a new SMC that has been carved out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
Ms Gan is the first woman to become brigadier-general in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 2015, and she has served in the military for more than 25 years. She started out as an air traffic controller before rising through the ranks to command Singapore’s four airbases.
She quit the SAF in March and is currently the deputy chief executive of the National Trades Union Congress’ Employment and Employability Institute.
Dr Ang, on the other hand, is a psychiatrist who previously took part in the 2011 General Election as part of SDP to contest for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, and in 2015 as part of the Singaporeans First party for Tanjong Pagar GRC.
Despite the very close fight, do remember that Dr Ang is a veteran politician while Ms Gan is new to the world of people wearing white.
Mountbatten (PAP’s Lim Biow Chuan vs Peoples Voice’s Sivakumaran Chellappa)
The seat in Mountbatten SMC was previously won by PAP’s Lim Biow Chuan who defeated SPP’s Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, garnering 71.86% of the votes.
This time, Mr Lim will be going against Sivakumaran Chellappa from Peoples Voice.
Mr Lim, who is the president of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), has been representing Mountbatten since 2006, even when it was still a part of Marine Parade GRC.
Mr Chellappa left the PPP in 2019 and joined the Peoples Voice. He has said, “Parliamentary democracy means people get to represent their interests through the Members of Parliament to the government. For too long, we’ve seen things happening the other way around. Let’s institute some changes.”
This SMC is also one of PAP’s best results – even almost close to Jurong GRC’s results!
Pioneer (PAP’s Patrick Tay vs PSP’s Lim Cher Hong vs Cheang Peng Wah)
The seat in Pioneer SMC was previously won by PAP’s Cedric Foo who defeated NSP’s Elvin Ong, garnering 76.34% of the votes.
PAP’s candidate Patrick Tay, who used to serve in West Coast GRC, will be going against PSP’s Lim Cher Hong and Cheang Peng Wah, who stands alone without any party.
Mr Lim is a chartered financial consultant and author who said in a speech, “This is an opportunity for (Pioneer residents) to have an alternative voice in Parliament.”
Mr Cheang gave thanks to his supporters for daring to “stand up to make a difference to Singapore”.
There was supposedly another independent candidate, Victor Ronnie Lai, who wanted to contest for Pioneer SMC.
He is a retired financial consultant who reached the nomination centre with flowers but ended up not being able to enter because he did not have the required number of people to second or assent to his bid.
I guess giving flowers don’t solve all problems after all.
And by the way, yes, Mr Cheang has lost his deposit.
Potong Pasir (PAP’s Sitoh Yih Pin vs SPP’s Jose Raymond)
The seat in Potong Pasir SMC was previously won by PAP’s Sitoh Yih Pin who defeated SPP’s Lina Chiam after garnering 66.41% of the votes.
Mr Sitoh is set to defend his seat as he goes against SPP’s chairman Jose Raymond in this year’s General Election.
Mr Raymond is now the chief strategy officer of communications firm Spin Worldwide and the former executive director of the Singapore Environment Council. He was previously the press secretary of Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
He said, “Our journey towards a more compassionate, equitable, fairer society begins today. That journey begins with the decisions we make. For me, it’s a journey to try to help you see that there is a better Singapore.”
Punggol West (PAP’s Sun Xue Ling vs WP’s Tan Chen Chen)
Punggol West is a new SMC that has been carved out from the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
PAP’s Sun Xue Ling will be going against WP’s Tan Chen Chen.
Ms Sun who is the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Development, has held the ward when it was under Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
As for the WP candidate, Ms Tan is a contracts administrator and a first-time candidate. She volunteered with WP since 2015 and played an active role in Aljunied GRC led by Mr Low Thia Khiang’s Bedok Reservoir-Punggol division.
The Peoples Voice did express interest in contesting for this seat but eventually pulled out.
Radin Mas (PAP’s Melvin Yong vs RP’s Kumar Appavoo)
The seat in Radin Mas SMC was previously won by PAP’s Sam Tan who outdid Reform Party’s (RP) Kumar Appavoo and independent candidate Han Hui Hui after garnering 77.25% of the votes.
This time, PAP’s Melvin Yong is going against Mr Appavoo.
While this is the first time Mr Yong is contesting in Radin Mas, he is not new to it. He said, “In fact, over the last five years I’ve met many residents through various community events that I attended.”
He was previously from Tanjong Pagar GRC.
He is currently the assistant secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress and promises to ensure job security for the residents of Radin Mas if he is elected.
“With this COVID-19 situation, many of the livelihoods of our Radin Mas residents have been affected. I will do my best to take care of them,” he continued.
On the other hand, Mr Appavoo expressed that it would be “interesting” this time since it’s a straight fight, unlike the previous time he contested where it was a three-cornered fight.
But that didn’t help, of course; this SMC’s sample count was among the first to be released, and it’s also one of the best results from a PAP candidate.
Yio Chu Kang (PAP’s Yip Hon Weng vs PSP’s Kayla Low)
Yio Chu Kang is another new SMC this election though it previously existed in 2006.
Back then, the seat was won by PAP’s Seng Han Thong who outdid SDA’s Yip Yew Weng after garnering 68.28% of the votes.
This time, Yio Chu Kang SMC is back after being carved out from the Ang Mo Kio GRC and PAP’s new candidate Yip Hon Weng will be going against PSP’s Kayla Low.
Yes, he’s new and going alone, just like our dear ex-General. His results are therefore relatively impressive.
Mr Yip is a former public servant who was also the group chief of the Silver Generation Office at the Agency for Integrated Care.
Ms Low, on the other hand, is a chartered accountant and former prisons officer. In her free time, she volunteers with lower-income families and the pioneer generation.
Yuhua (PAP’s Grace Fu vs SDP’s Robin Low)
The seat in Yuhua SMC has been previously won by PAP’s Grace Fu who outdid SDP’s Jaslyn Go after garnering 73.46% of the votes.
Ms Fu has been in the seat since 2011, and she’s contesting once again during this year’s General Election. She will be going against SDP’s new candidate Robin Low.
Ms Fu said, “I have been serving you for the past 14 years but I’m not taking anything for granted. I take this election very seriously and contest for every one of your votes because you the voters of Yuhua deserve a good contest.”
Yes, anyone who lives there knows her so well, some thought that she’s the prime minister of Jurong #oneofourcolleaguessaidone
And on a side note, politicians have been talking about NCMP (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) in recent days. So, what’s an NCMP? Do you know that it’s just like an MP but the allowance is much lower? Watch this video to find out more:
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