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THE People's Action Party's (PAP) move to field a first-time candidate in the 2015 general election for one of the most keenly contested single-seat wards - Fengshan Single Member Constituency (SMC) - has paid off.
Fengshan residents have elected PAP's Cheryl Chan as their Member of Parliament (MP), with the long-time grassroots volunteer winning the seat with 57.52 per cent (12,398) of the vote share, 3,240 votes more than the Workers' Party's (WP) Dennis Tan, who got 42.48 per cent (9,158) of the vote. Of the total votes, 290 were spoiled while 1,581 were a no-show.
The reborn Fengshan SMC has a total population of 36,000, of whom 23,427 are voters.
The ward made a comeback on the electoral map as an SMC after 24 years.
It was carved out of East Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC), which was the PAP's worst-performing GRC that it won in the 2011 general election, with a narrow margin of 54.8 per cent of the vote against a team from WP.
Before being carved out for GE2015, Fengshan was overseen by former transport minister Raymond Lim, who had recently announced his retirement from politics. From 1984 to 1991, Fengshan was an SMC under MP Arthur Beng who beat then-WP candidate Chng Chin Siah twice: first in 1984 with 65.1 per cent of the vote, then in 1988 with 57.9 per cent of the vote.
Thanking supporters in her speech, Ms Chan, who is the PAP's first new candidate to be fielded in a new SMC since the GRC system was introduced in 1988, said she looks forward to building "a better home and more caring Fengshan" for residents.
Separately, Mr Tan, a shipping lawyer, said he will continue to work the ground in the next few years, adding that the party will be back to contest the ward.
Follow our Singapore General Election coverage online at bt.sg/ge_15