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GE2020: PAP retains Sembawang GRC with 67.29% of votes

Sembawang GRC.jpg
The PAP team for Sembawang GRC, led by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung (centre), during their walkabout on July 1.

THE People’s Action Party (PAP) defended Sembawang GRC with 67.29 per cent of the votes, in a rematch against the National Solidarity Party (NSP). This is 4.99 percentage points lower than the 72.28 per cent vote share the PAP had clinched against the NSP in GE2015. 

The PAP team, helmed by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, secured 94,068 votes, while the NSP secured 45,727 votes. The number of spoiled votes was 2,947.

The voter turnout for Sembawang GRC, which has 147,876 voters, was 96.5 per cent.

The incumbent PAP team comprises Mr Ong, lawyer Vikram Nair, ophthalmologist Lim Wee Kiak, and first-time candidates Mariam Jaafar and Poh Li San.

Ms Mariam is the Singapore managing director and a partner at the Boston Consulting Group, while Ms Poh is Changi Airport Group’s vice-president for Terminal 5 Planning and a former helicopter pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. 

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The NSP team is led by the party’s secretary-general Spencer Ng, and comprises businessman Ivan Yeo Tiong Boon, consultancy firm managing director Sebastian Teo, business development director Yadzeth Hairis and business owner Sathin Ravindran. Both Mr Ng and Mr Yadzeth were part of NSP’s team in 2015 that contested Sembawang GRC.

During election hustings, Mr Ong, who oversees the Gambas ward, focused on improving residential amenities, with the catchphrases "Sayang Sembawang" and "Make Sembawang Special". 

He highlighted that his team is working on the new Woodlands integrated healthcare campus, which will have 2,000 beds, as well as childcare and eldercare facilities and cycling paths. 

“We’ll make this a special place in Singapore — more facilities, more convenient, yet green, rustic, historical and a unique place in Singapore,” Mr Ong said during his constituency political broadcast on July 7. 

In a previous speech on Nomination Day, he also echoed the party’s message on the need for long-terms solutions to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, which could last for a year or two until a vaccine is developed. 

Mr Ng of the NSP, meanwhile, had positioned the party as an alternative to counter the ruling party’s dominance. He pledged that the party’s candidates would serve as full-time MPs if elected, and questioned the ability of PAP MPs to offer diverse viewpoints. 

“If you vote PAP candidates, they are not going to say no to policies that will cost you — policies such as 9 per cent GST (Goods and Services Tax) and more expensive HDB flats,” Mr Ng had said during his party political broadcast on July 9. 

Sembawang GRC was formed in 1988, but in this election it ceded some parts to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC and Nee Soon GRC.

For more of our Singapore GE2020 coverage, go to bt.sg/ge2020

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