SINGAPORE – Tanjong Pagar proved to be a People’s Action Party (PAP) stronghold again as voters chose the team led by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, 50. The PAP team won 63.13 per cent of the votes in the ward, which is casting ballots for the second time since the GRC was formed in 1991.
Besides Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, 57, and Ms Joan Pereira, 53, the PAP’s team has two new faces: Mr Alvin Tan, 40, LinkedIn’s Asia-Pacific head of public policy and economics, and public servant Eric Chua, 41.
Mr Chan said at a press conference at PAP’s Buona Vista branch after the results were announced that with the election over, “it’s time for us to unite and make sure that together we get out of the Covid situation as soon as possible”.
He wants to make sure that in the coming months, “we will be able to save as many jobs in as many businesses as possible. And that we will also put in place the long-term plans for us to overcome the challenges in the years ahead”.
Ms Indranee thanked voters who cast their ballots for the PAP, and added: “For those who have not included us in their votes, we will also make sure that we work hard to understand your concerns, and to address them.”
The PAP team beat Progress Singapore Party’s lineup of Mr Michael Chua, 55, a former military man who was an SAF merit scholar, lawyer Wendy Low, 43, technologist Harish Pillay, 60, business consultant Abas Kasmani, 67, and Singapore Airlines pilot Terence Soon, 29.
Resident Rosaline Goh said she believes the PAP team still has the best credentials out of all the parties.
“When you look at world in general, I don’t understand why people are complaining about Singapore,” said the 66-year-old, who is self-employed.
The PAP candidates campaigned on both municipal and national issues in their contest for the constituency. Candidates spoke of plans to beautify the Tanjong Pagar town, and of new social programmes to help seniors and young people in the area while Mr Chan actively defended the party’s position on free trade agreements, a lightning rod for criticism with opposition politicians. He and Ms Indranee also rebutted the opposition’s calls to deny the PAP a blank cheque, by pointing to the Non-Constituency MP scheme, which provides for opposition party members to sit in Parliament and have the same voting rights as elected MPs.
The ward is most associated with founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who helmed the area from 1955 until his death in 2015.
In the 2015 election, the PAP team led by Mr Chan took home 77.71 per cent of the vote, beating a Singaporeans First party team led by former presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say.
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