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Solid wins for PAP in Tanjong Pagar, Jln Besar, Radin Mas

Outcome contrary to feedback in run-up to poll: SingFirst Party

From left PAP candidates for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Ms Joan Pereira, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Ms Indranee Rajah and Mr Melvin Yong heading towards Tiong Bahru market for their morning walkabout on the 6 Sep 2915.


TANJONG Pagar GRC remains firmly in the hands of the People's Action Party (PAP), with the ruling party incumbents beating off a challenge from the Singaporeans First (SingFirst) Party with a resounding 77.71 per cent of the vote.

Thanking party activists and supporters after the results were announced, PAP team leader Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and labour chief, pledged that he and his team would "build on the strong foundations" laid by the forefathers.

It was the first electoral contest in the constituency in close to 30 years - Tanjong Pagar residents last voted in 1988 when the ward was still a single-member constituency. It expanded into a GRC in 1991, and since then the PAP has had election walkovers. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had been the ward's MP since 1955 - and subsequently the GRC's anchor - until his passing in March this year.

The other members of the PAP team are Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah, surgeon Chia Shi-Lu, former senior police officer Melvin Yong and social worker Joan Pereira.

Their SingFirst rivals that had sought to "create history" comprised investment adviser and ex-senior civil servant Tan Jee Say, psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, market risks manager Chirag Desai, communications consultant Fahmi Rais and sales executive Melvyn Chiu.

Noting the "substantial national swing towards the ruling party" in the results announced so far, a disappointed Mr Tan said the outcome was contrary to feedback it had received in the run-up to the election. He had on Nomination Day ventured that his SingFirst team had a "50-50" chance of winning the GRC.

Tanjong Pagar - a mid-size GRC with some 130,750 eligible voters - is one of two GRCs contested in the general election by SingFirst, which was registered in August 2014. Voter turnout was one of the lowest, at just below 91 per cent.

Jalan Besar

The resurrected Jalan Besar GRC also produced a sound victory for the PAP team led by Minister for Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim.

He and his team of seasoned election contestants - Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How, medical doctor Lily Neo and mayor Denise Phua - received 67.73 per cent of the votes against a relatively low-key Workers' Party team. The WP slate comprised polytechnic lecturer L Somasundaram, social worker Frieda Chan (both of whom contested the 2011 GE), businessman Adrian Sim Tian Hock and Redzwan Hafidz, an engineer.

Previously a single seat ward, Jalan Besar became a GRC in 1988, and had been keenly contested by opposition parties at virtually every election. The GRC was, however, dissolved in 2011, making way for a new five-member Moulmein-Kallang GRC. The 2011 election saw a keen battle between PAP and WP in Moulmein-Kallang, with PAP polling 58.55 per cent of the vote.

Moulmein-Kallang has now disappeared off the electoral map, and Jalan Besar GRC revived, reabsorbing wards such as Whampoa. With just over 102,500 eligible voters, Jalan Besar is the third smallest GRC.

Radin Mas

Meanwhile, PAP's Sam Tan notched up a 10-point upswing in his vote percentage in his three-cornered fight in Radin Mas SMC.

The Minister of State, MP for the ward since 2006, clinched 77.25 per cent of the vote. In the 2011 general election, he had obtained 67.1 per cent of the vote in a straight fight with the National Solidarity Party's Yip Yew Weng.

On Saturday, the Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo obtained 12.71 per cent of the vote, barely keeping his S$14,500 election deposit, while independent candidate Han Hui Hui, with just over 10 per cent of votes, lost hers. Candidates need to poll at least 12.5 per cent to get back their deposit.

Radin Mas - the fourth largest of the 13 SMCs, with just over 28,900 voters - was one of three wards that saw a three-way fight in this election.

RP's Mr Appavoo, a director in an oil and gas company, had contested in West Coast GRC at the 2011 election.

Ms Han, a first-time contestant, is a blogger and activist whose election campaign slogan was "Return our CPF". She has, since last year, organised a number of protests at Hong Lim Park to lobby on her pet cause. One of just two independent candidates in the election, she held two rallies during her campaign.


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