Singapore—The Workers’ Party (WP) team may well appear victorious yet again at the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in this year’s elections, winning once more over the People’s Action Party (PAP), with 60 percent of the votes in their favor based on early poll results.
Over at Hougang Single Member Constituency (SMC), the WP’s Dennis Tan is slated to keep the longest-held opposition seat, beating People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Lee Hong Chuang by winning 58 percent of the votes based on sample results.
The WP team at Aljunied is made up of Secretary-General Pritam Singh, chairwoman Sylvia Lim, incumbent MP Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap and former Non-Constituency Members of Parliament Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam.
The PAP team that contested at Ajunied is composed of Mr Victor Lye, Mr Alex Yeo, Ms Chan Hui Yuh, Mr Chua Eng Leong, and Mr Shamsul Kamar. Messrs Lye, Shamsul and Chua had also contested in Aljunied in 2015.
2015’s battle at Aljunied GRC had been a hotly contested one, with the opposition party winning by the slimmest of margins of among all constituencies that year, with 50.95 percent of the vote, to the PAP slate, anchored by former MP Yeo Guat Kwang, winning 49.04 percent.
That year, the WP team had been helmed by veteran opposition leader Low Thia Khiang, who was then the party’s Secretary-General. Mr Low has chosen not to contest in this year’s GE, although he was seen on the ground campaigning for his party mates.
Mr Low, age 63, had been injured in a fall in his own home on April 30, and was hospitalized for some weeks due to head injuries. He was discharged from hospital on May 21. In late June, when it was announced that he would not run for election this year, he said he would stay on as a mentor and adviser to younger members of the party.
Aljunied is considered significant in Singapore’s political history, as it is the first GRC to be won by an opposition party. The WP won at Aljunied in 2011. WP, led by Mr Low, won Aljunied with 54.72 percent of the vote, and the party scored another win in 2015.
Despite Mr Low’s absence this year, the WP team was generally favored to win, with some netizens even considering the PAP team a suicide squad since the ruling party had not included any ministers among its Aljunied slate, when in practice a minister traditionally anchors the ruling party team in the different GRCs.
In Hougang, Mr Tan, a former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, will be taking over the seat at Hougang from the WP’s Png Eng Huat, who, announced at the end of June that he would not contest in this year’s election.
Mr Png served as MP for Hougang from 2012 to this year. In the election of 2015, he won over PAP’s Lee Hong Chuang, 57.69 percent to 42.31.