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Electoral boundaries report: More MPs, new Sengkang GRC, smaller GRCs

SEVEN months after it was formed in August, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has submitted its report and had its recommendations accepted by the government, in what is seen as the first major step towards the next General Election.

In its recommendations, released publicly on Friday, there will be 93 elected Members of Parliament, up from 89 now.

This is across 31 electoral divisions: 14 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), up from 13 previously, and 17 four- and five-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).

The two existing six-member GRCs, Ang Mo Kio and Pasir Ris-Punggol, will become five-member GRCs. This is in line with the EBRC's terms of reference, which included creating smaller GRCs.

There will be a new four-member Sengkang GRC, formed by combining Punggol East SMC with parts of both Sengkang West SMC and Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC.

The rest of Sengkang West SMC has been absorbed into Ang Mo Kio GRC. Meanwhile, all of Fengshan SMC has been absorbed into East Coast GRC, which has grown from a four- to a five-member GRC.

With these changes, there will be six four-member GRCs and 11 five-member ones.

Four new SMCs have been created. Kebun Baru has been carved out of Nee Soon GRC; Marymount, out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC; Punggol West, out of Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC; and Yio Chu Kang, out of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

The next election must be held by April 2021. In 2015, the EBRC report was published on July 24, with the election held less than two months later on Sept 11. In 2011, the report was published on Feb 24, with the election on May 7.

As at Apr 15 last year, there were 2,594,740 electors on the registers, an increase of 134,256 from those in the 2015 registers of electors.

Other changes include the shifting of various polling districts across electoral divisions. For instance, the single-seat Potong Pasir ward has taken in two polling districts from Marine Parade GRC, and given one to Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

Various polling-district changes have also been made to GRCs, including Bishan-Toa Payoh, Choa Chu Kang, Jalan Besar, Marsiling-Yew Tee, Sembawang, Ang Mo Kio, Nee Soon, Tampines, and West Coast.

Unchanged GRCs are Holland-Bukit Timah, Aljunied, Jurong, and Tanjong Pagar.