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An average Singaporean’s opinion – Electoral boundaries

By WS

To me as a layman, a Member of Parliament (MP) is equal to a village head. That means the villagers come together to vote for a leader to voice their concerns on behalf of the whole village at the national level. The villages are well defined in terms of maybe road names, boundaries, common histories. The villagers should recognize the boundaries and who are in them before voting for their leader to be a Member of Parliament (MP).

From young, I am very confused about our electoral boundaries. Now I am still very confused. I have close friends staying very near together (just separated by a small road) but we are of different electoral constituencies… and these electoral constituencies change at every election. We are unsure of where we will end up in at the next election also, and I feel this is real stupid.

No one understand and know how the Elections Department comes up with the boundaries. This shows a superb example of how the leaders of our country can do whatever they want here.

I remember the Government replied before that it is based on some formulas, based on population or something like that that no one understands. I think they are too clever for their own good because we all will sooner or later make this issue as big as the CPF issue. Why can’t we have a clearer system that everyone understands and believe in?

First thing first, in regards to the creation of the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system, I have my doubts, but I accept the explanation by the Government on providing minorities’ voices in Parliament.

Below is a better electoral boundaries system that I believe everyone can understand and accept:

Like, for example, the Punggol area. Most people know where Punggol is, but the Elections Department has to separate Punggol into Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC) and also Aljunied GRC? Sometimes I question if the Elections Department is in the right mind. Why can’t they just categorize Punggol as Punggol GRC? I do not know the total population there, but if they need only 4 MPs, then make Punggol GRC 4 MPs, one or two can be minority MPs. If they need 5 MPs to manage, then give 5 MPs. If the area or population gets too big, then separate the Punggol into Punggol East and Punggol West with 3 MPs each. If in the next election, one of the GRC needs another MP, then just increase one more, and we will understand. Why must the Election Department use the current method which is totally not transparent and logical.

Is Bukit Batok under Jurong? Bishan and Toa Payoh have totally different cultures and are separated by the huge Lornie Road yet grouped in same GRC. Choa Chu Kang GRC consists of Bukit Gombak, but they are so far away. Yuhua SMC is created out of nowhere, and Jurong GRC surrounds Yuhua and I wonder why there are no familiar names like Woodlands GRC, Bukit Batok GRC, etc.

I think our nation leaders are very immoral in the way they are allowing this to happen. We are a democracy nation, where the people vote for their respective MPs to fight for their own rights in their own area. We do not even feel and know where our own areas are. Everything is in a blur. I hope they know that if these essential basic democratic systems are not put in place soon, we will assume that they are trying to achieve an unfair advantage over political rivals which simply means they are big bullies who are unwilling to fight an election evenly. We as voters will look down on you and magnify whatever dull stuffs you do without any mercy, because you ask for it.

This letter was submitted via Readers' Contribution and has been edited prior to publishing