The following letter was sent to The Straits Times but not published.
I refer to the article “New electoral boundaries don’t benefit PAP: SM Goh” (The Straits Times, Feb 28, 2011).
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong stated that the recent major electoral boundary changes don’t benefit the ruling People’s Action Party in any way. I beg to differ.
In 2006, Aljunied GRC had an estimated 145,141 voters. In 2011, Aljunied GRC has an estimated 143,024 voters.
Though the numbers may appear to be similar, I note that parts of Aljunied GRC have been redrawn to go to Ang Mo Kio GRC (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s ward) and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (Deputy PM Teo Chee Hean’s ward), while it has also been given a part of Marine Parade GRC (SM Goh Chok Tong’s ward).
As reported in The Straits Times (“‘No evidence’ of unfair edge for PAP”, Feb 25, 2011), the group of people coming from Marine Parade GRC (Kaki Bukit ward, to be exact) consists of about 20,000 voters and contains a higher proportion of Malay voters (estimated 27%, as compared to the national population average of 14%), who have traditionally tended to vote for the PAP. Voters from Goh Chok Tong’s Marine Parade ward have also tended to vote strongly for the PAP, polling 72.94% PAP votes in the last non-walkover election held and 77.25% in the one before that.
Additionally, the relatively higher number of pro-opposition voters in Aljunied that were drawn out of Aljunied GRC will likely be silenced by the huge pro-PAP population in their new GRCs, namely Lee Hsien Loong’s Ang Mo Kio GRC (66.14% PAP votes in 2006) and Teo Chee Hean’s Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (68.70% PAP votes in 2006).
The diluting of these pro-opposition voters is also aided by the fact that Ang Mo Kio GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC are the two wards with the highest voter density of all the GRCs in Singapore, with 178,933 and 168,834 estimated total voters in 2011 respectively.
These, I believe, unfairly tilt the advantage gained from the electoral boundary changes in the PAP’s favour.
The writer has requested to remain anonymous.