Winners and Losers: Who won and who lost after the redrawing of the electoral boundaries
There are always winners and losers to anything.
Roughly 24 hours on, we reckon most people are done reeling over the changes made in the fresh-off-the-press electoral boundaries report released on Friday.
We now pick out the people we think have emerged as winners and the losers in the recently-concluded high-level art session:
1. Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim
Minister Yaacob is likely to lead a larger GRC in the “resurrected” Jalan Besar GRC. Jalan Besar GRC has 102,454 electors, compared to Moulmein-Kallang GRC’s 87,988 electors.
Moreover, it will reabsorb part of PAP’s stronghold in Whompoa and popular veteran MP Lily Neo’s Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward in Tanjong Pagar GRC.
2. Lina Chiam and the Singapore’s People Party (SPP)
Moreover, Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam lost Potong Pasir with the smallest margin at 114 votes in 2011. Potong Pasir can be considered the “second home” of the Chiam family, because her legendary husband, Chiam See Tong was the
reigning MP from 1984 till 2011.
We’re pretty sure we will see round two for Lina Chiam and current PAP MP Sitoh Yi Pih as she told The Straits Times last night that she would make a bid for Potong Pasir once more.
With Mountbatten SMC remaining intact, the SPP has also staked early claims to contest in Mountbatten. New SPP member Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss was the opposition candidate in 2011 but the former National Solidarity Party Sec-Gen contested under the NSP’s banner.
3. Tin Pei Ling
MacPherson incumbent MP Tin Pei Ling is likely to be the PAP’s candidate at the SMC and she will have a fantastic opportunity to prove to her critics that she was not riding on the coattails of ESM Goh Chok Tong.
The opposition expect PAP’s youngest MP to be easy meat, with SingFirst founder and former SDP candidate Tan Jee Say already laying eyes on the ward.
But MacPherson continues to be a PAP stronghold.
As PAP branch secretary Rosemary Lim told The Straits Times, MacPherson was one of Marine Parade’s better-performing wards even though Marine Parade GRC witnessed PAP’s second worst win in 2011.
Add that to the fact that Tin is one of the few full-time PAP MPs and had been walking the ground for the past four years.
And check out its previous GE results before it was absorbed into Marine Parade GRC.
A warning to opposition candidates — it has proven to be a graveyard for many political dreams, including a certain Chee Soon Juan.
4. Ong Ye Kung
Lianhe Zaobao has speculated that GE 2011 Aljunied losing candidate Ong Ye Kung could potentially lead the charge at the new Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
The 45-year old Director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation was widely tipped for a Ministerial portfolio alongside Ministers Chan Chun Sing, Tan Chuan-Jin and Lawrence Wong in the last GE.
The speculation may not be too far off, for Ong has been seen helping Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi. Part of Hawazi’s ward now belongs to Marsiling-Yew Tee.
1. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew
No matter how you spin it, it is a lose-lose situation for this Minister without a constituency.
Similar to the public’s confidence in Singapore’s public transport system, Lui’s Moulmein ward has disintegrated. Moulmein will be split between the four surrounding GRCs and it would be no more.
Lui must be feeling pretty disappointed — so disappointed that he spelled his ward Moulmein wrongly in his initial FB post.
2. NCMP Yee Jenn Jong
We’ve already talked about how he himself feels like he’s lost a great deal in the belly-upping of Joo Chiat SMC, which to be fair, he has worked pretty hard on for the past five or so years (he likely started ahead of the 2011 election) — also as a non-constituency MP (NCMP).
More importantly, though, he had a super-good chance to win it at this year’s polls, especially since his PAP counterpart Charles Chong hasn’t been all that prominent in Parliament.
But hey, who knows — he might be able to lend some strength to the Workers’ Party’s renewed East Coast bid; perhaps with fellow WP NCMP Gerald Giam?
3. The dude taking over Inderjit Singh
We reckon the candidate stepping up to the plate most likely will be Henry Kwek, as we shared in our story about Singh stepping down from politics.
Now, he’s been helping out fairly actively in the grassroots with Kwek, and also has been actively involved in Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam’s community activities in Nee Soon — guess we all should have read the tea leaves there that foreshadowed Singh’s ward being pushed from Ang Mo Kio to Nee Soon.
That said, though, if one were to compare a constituency helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Ang Mo Kio) to one headed by minister Shanmugam (Nee Soon), it’s pretty clear which scenario a new face would prefer to be in, eh? So yes, we count Kwek to be among the losers in this round of redrawing.
We’d also add the residents of the Kebun Baru area to this point, as they’re now feeling pretty cheated by the changes effected by the electoral boundaries committee. We figure you would too, if you started out in Ang Mo Kio, and now find yourself left out in the cold — all for the sake of keeping the number of voters within acceptable limits.
4. Tin Pei Ling’s husband
Four years ago, Ng How Yue was in the news just because he was Tin’s husband and PM Lee’s Principal Private Secretary.
Ng, who is now the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Law, will now have to be a house husband during the hustings.
Tin’s baby is due in August and if the GE comes in September as expected, Ng will have to almost single-handedly take care of his less than 1-month old baby — let’s hope he and Tin have solid extended family support for the new kiddo!
Time for the government’s paternity leave to kick in, perhaps?