Singapore People’s Party member Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss has said that she does not know whether she will contest Mountbatten Single Member Constituency (SMC) in the next General Election (GE) since she does not know whether there will be a Mountbatten SMC in the next election.
Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, who contested the SMC in the 2011 and 2015 GEs, added that she will only run in the ward if it is a direct fight between the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and the SPP since she would prefer to bow out if there is a three-corner fight that could potentially split the opposition vote.
In a Facebook post published on Wednesday (26 Jun), Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said that she has been asked whether she will contest Mountbatten SMC again, as she conducts her regular walkabouts and community outreach in the area.
She wrote: “So I often get asked: “Are you going to run at Mountbatten SMC again at the next GE?” I cannot answer the question because I do not know if there will be a Mountbatten SMC in the next GE.”
Noting that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the leader of the PAP, said in 2016 that the electoral boundaries will be significantly altered for the next GE since he would instruct the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) to reduce the average size of Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and create more SMCs, the SPP member said:
“There is every possibility that the area currently known as Mountbatten SMC could become part of a new GRC…there may or may not be a Mountbatten SMC in the next GE.
“Until the day the EBRC releases the new electoral map for the next GE, no one knows how next GE’s electoral map looks like and where the boundaries will lie.”
She added that potential candidates only have a short lead time to decide whether they will contest the election and which ward they would contest since the time the EBRC announces next GE’s electoral map is very close to the time nomination day is set. She noted:
“For GE 2015, the EBRC released the electoral map on 24 July 2015. With Nomination Day on 1 September 2015, candidates were given just 39 days to decide if and where they would contest. (For GE 2011, the electoral map was released 62 days prior to Nomination Day.)”
Sharing that it is “anyone’s guess” when the next election may be called, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss added: “We also have to expect that electoral boundaries may be re-drawn in such manner that it becomes difficult to decide in which constituency to run, and whether to run at all. Such are the uncertainties which prospective candidates have to deal with.”
Reiterating her view that she really does not know whether she will run at Mountbatten SMC in the next election, given these possibilities and circumstances, the SPP member said that she plans to continue her efforts to meet with residents and better understand their needs and concerns, for the time being.
She said: “The main objective is to help my fellow Singaporeans anyway I can.”