Chuan-Jin urges Singaporeans to unite and find common ground

Chuan-Jin urges Singaporeans to unite and find common ground
Marine Parade GRC MP-elects (L-R) Goh Chok Tong, Fatimah Lateef, Tan Chuan-Jin, , Seah Kian Peng and Edwin Tong at Geylang Serai market, Sept 13, 2015. Photo: Don Wong
Published: 1:33 PM, September 13, 2015
Updated: 6:50 PM, September 13, 2015

SINGAPORE — While the elections have brought out some differences among voters, Singaporeans must unite and work around their differences to take the country forward, said Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin today (Sept 13).

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency victory parade, he noted that differences among Singaporeans can create tension, particularly during elections where emotions can get “heated up”.

“We need to figure out how to rally round, figure out how to converse as best as we can, I’m sure differences won’t go away,” he said.

“Some things we will be able to find common ground, some things we will just have to agree to disagree,” he added.

On the unexpected national swing in votes to the People’s Action Party, Mr Tan said that while reception from residents to his Marine Parade team has been very warm, the online sentiment appeared to be different and “didn’t seem to tally”.

“We were a bit perplexed also, because our ground sense was that it’s very warm and supportive and whether that translates into votes (was) difficult to say. So there was that uncertainty there,” said Mr Tan.

The ruling party garnered 69.9 per cent of the popular vote compared to the 60.1 per cent it got in the 2011 General Election.

On how Marine Parade’s 64.1 per cent vote share was lower than the national average, Mr Tan said that compared to its 2011 score of 56.6 per cent, the PAP has “made good ground”.

He added: “It really depends. If you look at it on an overall perspective, there’s an overall swing (towards PAP). But as some have pointed out, it also varies, depending on who your opponents are.”

Mr Tan said the PAP win is not something to be complacent about and his five-member team in Marine Parade will continue to work hard.

“We are very deeply appreciative of the residents who supported us, but there are also residents who didn’t support us. And our responsibility is also to look out for them,” he added.