Singapore

Tin Pei Ling retains MacPherson with 71.74% of votes against PPP

This article is more than 12 months old

Ms Tin Pei Ling, of the People’s Action Party (PAP), romped home to victory for the second time in MacPherson SMC, sweeping up 71.74 per cent of the votes in a battle against the People’s Power Party (PPP) secretary-general Goh Meng Seng. 

Mr Goh, 50, is the sole PPP candidate in this election. 

Ms Tin, 36, improved on her 2015 showing when she defeated two opposition challengers – Mr Bernard Chen of the Workers’ Party (WP) and National Solidarity Party’s (NSP) Cheo Chai Chen. She garnered 65.58 per cent of the votes in the three-cornered fight for the single-seat constituency. 

Ms Tin looked poised for a win when the sample count showed her leading by a significant margin of 73 per cent to PPP’s 27 per cent. And win she did, with 18,983 votes. 

Ms Tin’s first foray into politics was in 2011 when she was elected in Marine Parade GRC, which was then led by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. 

At age 27, she was then PAP’s youngest candidate and came under harsh criticism online for her youth and inexperience in politics. A widely-circulated Facebook photo of Ms Tin posing with a Kate Spade gift from her husband drew more flak.

In the 2015 general election, PAP fielded her in MacPherson SMC, which had been hived off from Marine Parade GRC in the 2006 election. 

One of her opponents, Mr Cheo, made a major blunder when he described Ms Tin’s status as a new mother as “her weakness”, drawing backlash from the public. 

In rebutting him, Ms Tin said women should not have to choose between motherhood and a career.

Mr Cheo ended up losing his deposit with 0.82 per cent of the votes, while Ms Tin garnered 17,251 votes, or 65.58 per cent of the votes. 

In this latest election, Ms Tin had focused her campaign on caring for the community and improving the estate to make it not just a place but a home.

Taking her campaign online, she held Facebook Live sessions almost every night and engaged residents in dialogues and e-rallies. 

Her plans for MacPherson SMC, which has 28,513 registered voters, include sprucing up common spaces and supplying clean energy at half the price for 100 lower-income households. 

Her opponent, who secured 28.26 per cent of the votes, had focused on local issues such as introducing more covered walkways, building a community hospital and improving the wiring of old Housing Board flats. 

Mr Goh, a principal consultant with a market research and consultancy company, also raised the issue of asset enhancement of HDB flats, arguing that the flats in MacPherson, one of the oldest estates in Singapore, was suffering from diminishing value. 

This is his fourth electoral defeat and Mr Goh has indicated that this will be his last time contesting. In his electoral debut in 2006, he contested Aljunied GRC with the Workers’ Party. 

In 2011, he contested Tampines GRC on the NSP ticket and in 2015, he formed PPP. In the 2015 election, Mr Goh led a group of candidates who contested Chua Chu Kang GRC and lost to the PAP team, helmed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. – THE STRAITS TIMES

GE 2020