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SINGAPORE GENERAL ELECTION

PM's team enjoys 9.3-point jump in votes

78.6% score second-highest in this election; Eng Hen-led team bags Bishan-Toa Payoh with a high 73.6% win
Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 08:00
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The six-member team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong scored a resounding victory in the Ang Mo Kio group representation constituency (GRC) with 78.6 per cent of votes.

Singapore

THE six-member team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong scored a resounding victory in the Ang Mo Kio group representation constituency (GRC) with 78.6 per cent of votes.

This marked a significant 9.3 percentage point improvement for the PAP team in the GRC, from the 69.3 per cent of votes that PAP garnered four years ago, which was at that time the best performance for a GRC.

The improvement was hailed as a major endorsement for PM Lee's leadership, whose political image has softened over the years and has become the poster boy for the PAP during this round's election hustings.

A total of 135,115 valid votes went to the PAP, while 36,711 or 21.4 per cent went to the Reform Party, which fielded mostly newbies for this GRC.

PM Lee said that his team is thankful, happy, yet "humbled by the results" and that his team will work together with residents to improve their homes and to represent their voices in parliament. "Tomorrow will be better than today. SG100 will be better than SG50," he added.

This is Mr Lee's third time leading the PAP into electoral battle in his past eleven years of helming the party as its secretary-general and being the country's prime minister. He has been an MP for Teck Ghee since 1984 and a member of the Cabinet since 1987.

Mr Lee's team for the Ang Mo Kio GRC comprised new face Darryl David, Ang Hin Kee and Intan Azura Mokhtar who both contested in the 2011 elections, Koh Poh Koon who contested in the Punggol East by-election two years ago, and Gan Thiam Poh who moved over from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

The team from Reform Party (RP) comprised blogger Roy Ngerng, an outspoken critic of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) who has been sued by Mr Lee for suggesting that the Prime Minister misappropriated CPF savings; career counsellor Gilbert Goh who organised protests against the government's population white paper, and lawyer M Ravi who champions human rights and wants the death penalty abolished.

The other candidates of the RP are former banker Jesse Loo, media trainer Siva Chandran and entrepreneur Osman Sulaiman.

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC

The PAP team led by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen won the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC by garnering 73.6 per cent or 86,514 of valid votes in the Bishan-Toa Payoh constituency, where it fielded three new candidates.

The 16.7 percentage-point increase in PAP's victory from the 56.9 per cent vote it garnered four years ago was achieved against the Singapore People's Party (SPP) team which included two members from the 2011 election.

Democratic Progressive Party chief Benjamin Pwee, 47, and chairman Hamim Aliyas, 50, had both resigned from the party and joined the SPP so they could be fielded in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

PAP's team comprises new faces Chee Hong Tat, Chong Kee Hiong and Saktiandi Supaat as well as Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance Josephine Teo.

Mr Chee has been mentioned by PM Lee along with candidates like Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung as potential leaders from this round.

Speaking to the broadcast media on Saturday morning after the results were released, Mr Pwee said that all the opposition parties were shocked by the sweep towards the PAP nationally, not just in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

"But voters have made their choice known," Mr Pwee said, adding that his team will continue to serve the Bishan-Toa Payoh community and will raise funds to run the various programmes that it intends to do, "so we are not going anywhere else".

Sengkang West SMC

PAP incumbent Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min beat his opponent from the Workers' Party, Koh Choong Yong, a software engineer in a straight fight for Sengkang West single seat.

This is Dr Lam's second win against Mr Koh in the General Election, scoring 62.1 per cent of the vote this time round. He had won in the 2011 election with 58.1 per cent of votes.

A total of 28,280 valid votes were cast this round, of which 17,564 votes went to Dr Lam and 10,716 votes or 37.9 per cent went to Mr Koh.

Calling the result "a resounding support" from residents, Dr Lam thanked them for the strong mandate.

Nearly 40 per cent of the 30,119 voters in the single-member constituency who went to the polls on Sept 11 did not vote in the ward in the last round, which had earlier made it hard to predict where these voters would lean.

Since 2011, 15 new HDB projects with about 10,500 flats in all have been completed in Sengkang West. Part of the ward, the area between Jalan Kayu and Fernvale Road, was redrawn into Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Dr Lam was first elected in 2006. One issue that Dr Lam has had to deal with this year was the columbarium saga which had generated some unhappiness among new residents.

News last December that a commercial columbarium was being planned for a plot of land earmarked for a temple near BTO (build-to-order) homes in Fernvale Lea had irked residents. But Dr Lam was quick to address the issue and arrange for meetings with the developer and government agencies. This issue has been largely resolved in January when the government terminated the award to the developer of the commercial columbarium and re-tendered the site.

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