On Sunday (22 March), Former Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) General Gan Siow Huang was seen walking alongside Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and other Members of the Parliament (MPs) from the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in a walkabout at the Bishan North Shopping Mall.
Given that Ms Gan has resigned as the Chief of Staff-Air Staff earlier last week, this has fuelled intense speculation that she may be nominated as a candidate from the People’s Action Party (PAP) in the upcoming General Election (GE).
The Straits Times (ST) has reported that for several months, Ms Gan has been seen engaging in volunteer activities at Bishan North under the constituency of Manpower Minister Mrs Josephine Teo.
Incidentally, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report has revealed that the number of members for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC would be reduced from five to four members with the Bishan North area identified as a new single-member constituency called Marymount.
Meanwhile, Mrs Teo is currently the MP of Bishan North and it is highly anticipated that she will helm the Jalan Besar GRC. With this change, the line up for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC could include Dr Ng, Ms Gan, Mr Saktiandi Supaat and either Mr Chee Hong Tat or Mr Chong Kee Hiong.
Mr Chong Kee Hiong or Mr Chee Hong Tat might contest in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
There are speculations that for the Marymount Single Member Constituency (SMC), PAP’s choice will be between either Mr Chee, who is Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education or Mr Chong, MP of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
However, when questioned by ST, Mr Chee refused to be drawn into predicting as to who would be named by the party.
It was reported by ST that Mr Chee elucidated, “Our main focus remains on how do we look after our residents well, including now during the Covid-19 outbreak.”
Mr Chee added “I think people are understandably more concerned about health, safety, the impact on the economy, jobs and livelihood, so there’s a lot for us to do to make sure that we focus on the task at hand. That is really looking after our residents, protecting lives and livelihood.”
Meanwhile, ST has reported that a Senior Grassroots Leader was quoted saying that the Sunday excursion was intended to reassure residents of the area that they would be cared for by the same team though the line-up remains unconfirmed to date.
Mr Chee had also elaborated on the improvements made in the GRC thus far, such as additional ramps, sheltered link ways and the improved Toa Payoh West Community Club, along with services for local residents. “We hope to do more in the next term, if residents support us, continue to be able to improve the lives of residents and their living environment,” he said.
On the other hand, the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC is being eyed by two opposition parties as well. They are the Progress Singapore Party, headed by Dr Tan Cheng Bock, and the Singapore People’s Party.