What PAP and alternative parties’ had to say about key SMC election results

We ran a good campaign although we came up short: SDP; Hougang is known as the beacon of democracy in Singapore: WP

Out of 14 single member constituencies (SMC) contested in Singapore’s 13th General Elections (GE) 2020, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won 13. 

These are the post-results’ thoughts and comments from PAP and alternative parties’ teams which contested in key SMCs.

Bukit Batok SMC
People’s Action Party (54.80%), Singapore Democratic Party (45.20%)

Source: Candidates’ Facebook

In a close contest, PAP’s Murali Pillai has won Bukit Batok SMC again with 54.8 per cent of the votes over the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Chee Soon Juan, who got 45.2 per cent of the valid votes.

The two candidates contested against one another in the 2016 by-election as well. Mr Pillai won 61.2 per cent of the votes then. 

Mr Chee garnered considerable media attention during the election period for issues on a 10 million population, having full-time Members of Parliament (MP) and Mr Pillai’s failure to deliver on his projects for Bukit Batok residents

These led to heated back-and-forths between PAP politicians and Dr Chee.

However, Mr Pillai came out the victor and thanked the voters and his volunteers in a Facebook video

“I will do my best to make sure that the plans I set out in my manifesto will be made a reality with your support,” he said.

He also thanked Dr Chee for the “keen contest”, saying that the contest allowed him to “better understand” the concerns of Bukit Batok residents and added that he would “work very hard to address these issues”.

Speaking to reporters outside the SDP headquarters in Ang Mo Kio after the announcement of the sample count for Bukit Batok, Dr Chee expressed his plans to “press on”. 

“We’re going to continue to try to see what we can begin to improve on and then come back stronger. “We ran a very good campaign that was focused on policy and on the issues. Unfortunately, we came up short.”

Dr Chee still thanks the voters who cast their votes for SDP, and thanked party supporters and volunteers who “worked tirelessly right through the campaign”.

Bukit Panjang SMC
People’s Action Party (53.74%), Singapore Democratic Party (46.26%)

Source: Candidates’ Facebook

This SMC is Singapore’s largest with 35,497 eligible voters in the constituency. It came under the spotlight when PAP’s Teo Ho Pin retired after 14 years, and the new candidate will face off Dr Paul Tambyah, one of the most prominent alternative parties’ candidates in GE 2020. 

The fierce contest proved true when PAP’s Liang Eng Hwa only won narrowly with 53.74 per cent of the votes. Dr Tambyah, also SDP’s chairman, had to settle for 46.26 per cent of the vote share. 

Mr Liang said in a post-results Facebook video that he was “committed to work very hard to get on with the tasks starting on 11 July”. 

He shared some of these plans include “better projects and initiatives, and community activities (that could make) Bukit Panjang a better town and home for everyone”. 

Speaking to the media outside of SDP’s headquarters in Ang Mo Kio, Dr Tambyah said “(he will) deal with the cards that (SDP has been) dealt with”. 

Although he hoped for a “miracle” where they could get elected, he is still “grateful for the experience” even though “miracles didn’t happen unfortunately”. 

But he felt proud of the work SDP has done and said they can “all hold (their) heads up high. (They’ve) done a strong campaign considering the circumstances”. 

In his afterthoughts, Dr Tambyah once again called out the “recklessness and opportunism of the PAP in holding a crisis election in the middle of a pandemic”. 

Hougang SMC
Workers’ Party (61.19%), People’s Action Party (38.81%)

Source: Workers’ Party / People’s Action Party

Hougang was an SMC to watch because it was the only SMC held by an alternative party, the Workers’ Party (WP). It is also the only SMC that the PAP lost in GE 2020. 

The party has ceded this SMC to WP since GE 1991 when Low Thia Khiang won.  

WP’s candidate, Dennis Tan, won 61.19 per cent of the votes, up from 3.51 per cent in GE 2015. He faced Lee Hong Chuang from the PAP. 

This is Mr Tan’s second time contesting after he lost in Fengshan SMC in GE 2015, but secured enough votes to become a Non-Constituency MP. 

“Today’s results show why Hougang is known as the beacon of democracy in Singapore. Thank you for keeping faith with WP beyond the past 29 years,” he said in his thank-you speech streamed on the party’s Facebook page.

“I’m truly humbled by your support. I’ll do my best to serve you and speak up for you in Parliament.”

In a Facebook post on 11 July, Mr Lee thanked the residents for the last six years where he walked the grounds to meet many of them. 

“It has been a good 6 years with all of you. I have been meeting so many residents from different walks of life. The warmth, smiles and welcoming gestures have touched my heart.” 

He ended it by saying he and “the volunteers” have “done their best in Hougang”. 

Marymount SMC
People’s Action Party (55.04%), Progress Singapore Party (44.96%)

Source: Gan Siow Huang Facebook / Ang Yong Guan Facebook

In this newly-formed SMC, former Republic of Singapore Air Force brigadier-general Gan Siow Huang won by a close margin with 55.04% of the votes. 

She went up against Dr Ang Yong Guan from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), who was also from the military. He was in the Singapore Armed Forces as an army colonel and a psychologist for 23 years before setting up his own private practice. 

Ms Gan thanked the voters in a Facebook video for “giving (her) the mandate and support to represent (them) in Parliament”. 

Her thoughts for Marymount was there was “much work to be done and (she hoped) together (they) can build an SMC that’s more vibrant and caring for all”. 

“I will do my best to serve you,” she said. 

As for Dr Ang, this was his third GE contestment. He started in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in 2011 as an SDP candidate.  

In a Facebook post on 11 July, he congratulated Ms Gan on her win. 

But he mostly expressed gratitude to “Marymount residents and online supporters for (their) support, encouragement and love” shown on the ground during this GE. 

“Although it was a disappointment not to be able to repay all the positive energy you gave throughout the campaign with a win, I am deeply thankful and grateful to have you by my side.”

He followed up with a heartened message to the residents on 12 July to press on even in PSP’s defeat. 

“Even in defeat we gained victory in friendship with you. We taste the inner victory of replacing our fear with boldness. Your continued courage will bring a new beginning. Let’s dream of a Singapore where we embrace accountability, transparency, a compassionate Singapore as One people.” 

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