Singapore

PAP new face Yip Hon Weng triumphs in Yio Chu Kang SMC

This article is more than 12 months old

The People’s Action Party’s (PAP’s) move to field a first-time candidate in the Yio Chu Kang single-member constituency has paid off, with Mr Yip Hon Weng garnering 60.83 per cent of the vote.

The 43-year-old had gone into the contest expecting a tough fight against the Progress Singapore Party’s Kayla Low, a fellow newcomer. She got 39.17 per cent, or 9,500, of the 24,256 valid votes.

Mr Yip, who was the former group chief of the Silver Generation Office under the Agency for Integrated Care, had earlier acknowledged that it is not easy being a first-time candidate in the SMC.

The constituency was carved out of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

“In an SMC, you are in a way competing alone,” Mr Yip had said during the hustings. “But you also have a bit more autonomy in how you run your campaign and operations on the ground.”

Earlier this month, he shared his plans to support elderly residents in the community. These plans include taking care of their mental well-being, fostering more inter-generation interaction between the youth and the elderly, and helping senior caregivers access resources and help.

As the population ages, there may also be more seniors who will be socially isolated and in need, and care has to be made affordable and accessible to them, he said.

An estimated 40 per cent of the SMC is made up of senior citizens from the Merdeka and Pioneer generations. The area also has about 70 blocks of flats, seven condominiums and two private estates.

Mr Yip, who observers believe has the potential to become a political office-holder, also has plans for the younger residents, including ways to get the youth to help others with their studies, for instance.

His rival, Ms Low, who is also 43, is a chartered accountant and former prisons officer. She had pushed for issues like welfare and job security to be addressed during her campaign, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many Singaporeans to lose their jobs. She volunteers with low-income families and the elderly.

Yio Chu Kang, a traditional PAP stronghold, has been in and out of Ang Mo Kio GRC. In 1991, it became part of the GRC, but was carved out again in 2006. Five years later, it rejoined the GRC. – THE STRAITS TIMES

GENERAL ELECTION 2020