Dr Chia, from the People’S Action Party (PAP), said there were two things which work against the PAP team there:
Not having been tested in a contest and the risk of complacency.
“This is a very big challenge, a very big disadvantage for us,” said Dr Chia, speaking to Channel NewsAsia.
“Because of this we actually have to work harder,” he said.
Dr Chia’s team was led by the late Lee Kuan Yew, and the former was one of two new PAP candidates in the team.
The other was Chan Chun Sing, who is now the NTUC chief.
The constituency saw a walkover after the opposition team from the Singapore Democratic Alliance filed their nomination papers late and was disqualified.
Dr Chia was roped in at the very last minute, to replace Baey Yam Keng, who in turn was seconded to Tampines GRC to replace the PAP candidate there, Steven Tan.
Mr Tan had to withdraw from standing for personal reasons.
The eleventh hour inclusion and subsequent walkover for the PAP team gave rise to ridicule.
Blogger Mr Brown, also known as Lee Kin Mun, likened Dr Chia’s last minute inclusion to winning the lottery (beh-pio).
Tanjong Pagar was last contested in 1988, when it was still a single-seat ward.