Mrs Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, 51, a lawyer, sets her eyes again on the Mountbatten Single Member Constituency (SMC) for the upcoming General Election with the blessing of her new political party.
A former secretary general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP), Mrs Chong-Aruldoss lost a bid to become NSP president in party polls held in January this year.
She subsequently left the party along with a several other members and applied to join the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) in March, helmed by veteran politician Chiam See Tong.
Mrs Chong-Aruldoss confirms that she will be contesting in the SMC in the upcoming polls which must be held by January 2017.
She said, “Yes, I am keen to make another bid to be elected as MP for Mountbatten. In the course of campaigning during the last GE, I established friendships with residents and got to know some local issues of concern to the residents there. I believe that I will be of more help to residents – and be a better candidate – if I were to have a deeper understanding of issues and closer ties with residents.
“For this reason, even after GE 2011, I have continued to and have been regularly walking the ground at Mountbatten. It has been my aim to build on the relationships which I have already established and to deepen my understanding of the issues of concern.”
Her personal campaign team has also been formed for the purpose of the upcoming election, which does not tax on the limited manpower and resources of SPP. It is said that the team has been visiting the SMC every Wednesday.
In General Elections 2011, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss contested against People’s Action Party candidate, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, under the NSP’s banner for the first time in the newly formed Mountbatten ward.
She received 41.38 per cent of the vote, which is slightly above the national average for opposition candidates.
However, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss is uncertain if the efforts of her campaigning team would bear fruit in the coming election due to Singapore’s constant changing electoral boundaries.
“Of course, all potential opposition candidates including myself, are under the heel of boundary changes. History has seen boundaries change significantly from one general election to another. What if Mountbatten is no longer a single member constituency? I don’t know.”
Despite the uncertainity she faces in the upcoming election, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said, “For now, I will continue to walk the grounds of Mountbatten to see how best I may be able to serve its constituents, if elected.”
Apart from Singapore People’s Party which is set to contest the SMC if it is not subsumed into other constituencies or removed altogether at the next boundary changes, the NSP itself seems to have also set its eyes on contesting the ward.
This would set up a possible three-corner fight in the SMC.