Singapore

PAP team led by Dr Ng Eng Hen retains Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC

This article is more than 12 months old

The People’s Action Party (PAP) team led by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen has retained Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, beating the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) for the third consecutive time with 67.26 per cent of the votes.

Although the four-man PAP team successfully defended the party stronghold, the winning margin is slimmer than in 2015 when the incumbents secured 73.59 per cent of the votes.

With a total of 101,220 registered voters, it is the smallest GRC as it has been reduced from a five- to a four-member constituency.

Areas under the Bishan North ward served by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo were carved out to form the new Marymount SMC.

Mrs Teo, 51, a Bishan Toa-Payoh GRC MP since 2006, left to helm Jalan Besar GRC.

The PAP team comprised Dr Ng, 61, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat, 46, Mr Saktiandi Supaat, 46, and Mr Chong Kee Hiong, 54.

They faced an SPP team led by party secretary-general and former Non-Constituency MP Steve Chia.

Both parties previously contested Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in the 2011 and 2015 general elections, with the PAP taking 56.93 per cent and 73.59 per cent of the votes respectively.

The SPP team, helmed by Mr Chia, 49, included party vice-chairman and first-time candidate Williiamson Lee, 40, former Reform Party candidate Osman Sulaiman, 45, and former candidate for the now-defunct Singaporeans First party Melyvn Chiu, 40.

It received 32.74 per cent of the votes.

For Mr Chia, this is his fifth electoral defeat.

The former National Solidarity Party (NSP) member contested in elections in 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011.

Mr Chia resigned from the NSP after pulling out of the 2015 General Election and joined the SPP in 2018.

Without the bluster of mass public rallies, both sides ran low-key campaigns – going door-to-door, visiting markets and coffee shops, distributing fliers and manifestos, and tapping social media.

The PAP team campaigned hard to continue improving local amenities, bolstering local programmes for vulnerable families and the elderly, as well as helping residents find jobs amid the Covid-19 crisis and a gloomy economic outlook.

Speaking during an online rally on the final day of the hustings on Wednesday, Dr Ng said: “Someone might say these simple promises are boring and common. Everyone can make them...

“Over the 20 years that I have been here, I have come to realise that residents are very discerning.

“We have an older population and those with grey hairs here have seen and heard election promises come and go. Better to speak honestly and plainly.”

Mr Chia and his team were pushing for more diversity in Parliament and an end to the PAP’s super-majority.

With Ms Gan also winning her seat, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Marymount SMC will operate under a single town council. — THE STRAITS TIMES

 

GENERAL ELECTION 2020