PAP's comeback kids energised
Finally, they're through, after previous debuts
Call them the comeback kids.
People's Action Party's Mr Ong Ye Kung, Mr Desmond Choo and Dr Koh Poh Koon had all tasted defeat in their political debut.
But the tide has turned for all three who mounted their return in separate Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).
A former top civil servant, Mr Ong was touted as being of ministerial calibre. But he failed to win a seat in Parliament after the PAP's Aljunied GRC slate lost to the Workers' Party (WP) in 2011.
Mr Ong, now MP-elect for Sembawang GRC, told The New Paper on Sunday: "In 2011, after the loss in Aljunied, what went through my mind was what I needed to do to overcome the setback.
"Now, what preoccupies me are all the things I have to get down to doing to fulfil my responsibility to the residents who have given me their support."
He added: "I also thought a lot (about) my former colleagues in Aljunied - George (Yeo), (Lim) Hwee Hua, Zainul (Abidin Rasheed) and Cynthia (Phua). They were my mentors when I started this journey."
Mr Ong told reporters at the post-election press conference: "The lessons of victory are sometimes more important than the lessons of defeat, and I've tasted both."
Mr Desmond Choo.
Mr Choo, a former police scholar and now senior executive with NTUC, was defeated by WP's Yaw Shin Leong in Hougang SMC in 2011.
After Mr Yaw disappeared amid allegations of an affair in 2012, Mr Choo lost again, to WP's Png Eng Huat, in a by-election.
Mr Choo moved to Tampines this year to join Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Masagos Zulkifli, Mr Baey Yam Keng and new face Cheng Li Hui. It was a move in the right direction.
Mr Choo told TNPS: "I am very grateful for the Tampines residents' faith and trust.
"During our Tampines thank-you walkabouts, many residents shared that they had supported us because they believed that PAP was still the team they trusted to take care of Singaporeans.
"They trusted that we could solve their short term issues but still remain keenly focused on creating opportunities for their children."
He added: "The results also showed that we've had some success in engaging Singaporeans, and we must now re-double our efforts to involve even more Singaporeans in the policy space. It is important that we continue to work hard to engage more and honour that trust."
Like his political colleagues, colorectal surgeon Dr Koh was defeated when he was fielded in the Punggol East by-election in 2013.
This was after the resignation of PAP MP Michael Palmer over an extramarital affair.
Dr Koh, touted then as a "son of Punggol", was beaten by WP's Lee Li Lian.
This time, he ran in the Ang Mo Kio GRC team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Dr Koh Poh Koon.
Of the swing in favour of his party, Dr Koh said it could be a combination of factors.
He said: "I cannot put a finger on the predominant reasons for the vote swing towards PAP (this GE)."
Dr Koh felt that the incumbent MPs "are doing a good amount of groundwork behind the scenes, which also saw votes for PAP going up across the constituencies".