By: Dr Tan Cheng Bock
The results of the Bukit Batok by-election clearly show that a minority candidate can win an election on his own.
This win by Murali is significant because he won his seat as a member of a minority race in a predominantly (75%) Chinese constituency. And the win is even more telling because it was won in a by-election. Recent past by-election results have not been in favour of the ruling party eg Ponggol East by-election.
Apart from the many other factors that contributed to his win, an important observation was that, race did not affect his performance of 62%. It is a victory for multiracialism and a sign that voters are more discerning and colour blind.
The fear that a minority candidate cannot win on his own, resulted in the creation of Group Representation Constituency (GRC) after GE1988. The setting up of this GRC was to address this early concern that minority races may not be represented in Parliament if Singaporeans vote along racial lines.
This victory by Murali has put paid to this fear and should pave the way for the removal of any race-based politics in future.
Republished from Dr Tan’s FB.
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