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PAP teams in north-west widen victory margins
TWELVE days ago, the candidates for Chua Chu Kang group representation constituency (GRC) and the two single-member constituencies (SMCs) Pioneer and Hong Kah North filed their nomination papers at Chua Chu Kang Primary School.
Early on Saturday, the People's Action Party (PAP) teams in these three constituencies emerged victorious, beating their respective opposition party rivals.
The PAP team in Chua Chu Kang bagged 76.89 per cent of the vote, besting the team from People's Power Party (PPP), the newest among Singapore's opposition parties. With that vote share, the PAP team improved on its 2011 performance, when it pulled in 61.2 per cent.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong led the team comprising Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling; EY director Zaqy Mohamad and head of Catalist at CIMB Bank Singapore Yee Chia Hsing.
In a Facebook post, Mr Gan thanked residents for the privilege of serving them for another term, and added: "On nomination day, my team and I set out to engage you and win over your hearts and minds. These nine days of campaign have been most satisfying, as they have given us an opportunity to share with you our plans and vision for Chua Chu Kang GRC and to renew our commitment to serve our residents."
His team-mate Mr Zaqy also made a Facebook post: "Truly humbled by the trust and belief that you have given us. This will drive me to work harder with you, for you and for Singapore."
The PPP team was led by opposition veteran and managing director of a group of market research and linguistics companies Goh Meng Seng; his team comprised finance manager Low Wai Choo, property consultant Lee Tze Shih and managing consultant Syafarin Sarif.
Mr Goh told reporters after the results were announced that he thought the PPP got an "exceptional result" for a two-month-old party that had not mounted a branding campaign or enjoyed much media exposure.
Chua Chu Kang was the only GRC in which it fielded a team.
Mr Goh added: "I was a bit surprised that in general, there was a big swing against opposition this time around. Apparently, as a whole, I think we failed to convince Singaporeans that we need more opposition members in parliament to serve the country."
He said he believed that the PAP managed to win voters over with its Pioneer Generation package and GST giveaways, and by its having created a "fear factor" in its campaign.
Over at Pioneer SMC, PAP candidate Cedric Foo triumphed over his National Solidarity Party rival Elvin Ong with 76.34 per cent of the vote.
Mr Foo, the chief financial officer of listed container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines, also improved on his vote share of 60.73 per cent in 2011 as he heads into his fourth term as custodian for Pioneer.
Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor beat Ravi Philemon of Singapore People's Party (SPP) in Hong Kah North handily - 74.76 per cent to 25.24 per cent.
In the 2011 polls, she had emerged the top scorer among PAP's candidates with a vote share of 70.61 per cent.
Mr Philemon, a social worker, had, in his campaign, said he would push for more bus services, a top-up of 30 years to the lease of the older flats in the area; he also called for unemployment insurance, a pension scheme, and for Singaporeans to get first priority for jobs - ideas which Dr Khor shot down at a PAP rally this week.
Mr Philemon said in a Facebook post on Saturday: "The swing to PAP nationwide cannot be ignored. A good majority of voters have spoken with their votes, that they believe that Singapore is headed in the right direction under the PAP. I accept the verdict. I congratulate Dr Amy Khor on her victory."
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