The elected Members of Parliament for Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) have changed the boundaries to the wards in their constituency, and it has riled at least one resident.
A resident of the GRC, Halim, sent us a circular which informs residents of the changes to the ward boundaries, and describes the changes as “new, incompetent development”.
“This incident also goes to show the blatantly lawless nature of the PAP which views and places itself above the law as this “redrawing” was done after GE 2015 had concluded,” Halim said.
Halim also described an incident where his relative from another constituency was turned away by an MP only because the resident was not from the ward overseen by the MP.
“My relative who lives at City View in Boon Keng was turned away by Denise Phua who claims the area does not belong in her GRC. But checks later revealed that it indeed comes under Jalan Besar GRC,” Halim remarked.
The circular was written to residents of Ubi Ave 1, who lived in apartment blocks 301 to 352, by MP for Marine Parade GRC, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef.
She said in that notice that the MPs of Marine Parade GRC met up after the last general election to discuss how to streamline the internal boundaries of the respective wards in the constituency, and that the change was necessary to serve residents better.
“This is to have a more equal distribution of the serving population within the GRC,” MP Fatimah explained.
The new MP serving the residents in the affected HDB blocks would be Minister for Social & Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin.
According to an article published in The Straits Times in Nov 1996, MPs have the discretion to divide the constituency among themselves and to give names to the sub-divisions.
“MPs in a GRC generally have the discretion to divide the constituency among themselves and give names to the internal sub-divisions, sometimes known informally as wards.
According to Eunos GRC MP Charles Chong, plans have already been made to divide, “as equitably as possible”, the new Pasir Ris GRC into four, each one to be managed by each of the four PAP MPs expected to contest the area. The tentative names are: Elias, Loyang, Pasir Ris Central and Pasir Ris South (see map).
Geographical location and the spread of residents are the key factors they consider in making this distribution, he explained. For example, the sub-division of Pasir Ris South (part of the present Tampines North) forms a natural segment of its own as it is separated from Pasir Ris town by the Tampines Expressway.
The distribution is also made such that each sub-division has about the same number of HDB blocks, ranging from between 100 and 150. Another PAP MP, Thomson GRC MP Ibrahim Othman, says that the wards in the new Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC have not been demarcated. If elected, he said, the five MPs for the constituency may split the load by distributing the polling districts among themselves.”
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