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GE2020: Sengkang GRC a ‘major loss’ to 4G team, says PM Lee

SINGAPORE — Just as it did in the General Election (GE) of 2011, the Workers’ Party (WP) beat the People’s Action Party to win a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the July 10 polls, and a newly formed one at that.

GE2020: Sengkang GRC a ‘major loss’ to 4G team, says PM Lee

The team fielded by the People's Action Party in Sengkang Group Representation Constituency speaking to members of the media after losing to the Workers' Party.

  • PM Lee said that Sengkang GRC is a major loss to the party’s fourth-generation leaders 
  • He encouraged PAP's Sengkang GRC team to continue to serve the party and Singapore in different ways
  • He talked about how each member of the team had contributed to serving the Government
  • PAP respects the decision of voters and will move on, he added

 

SINGAPORE — Just as it did in the General Election (GE) of 2011, the Workers’ Party (WP) beat the People’s Action Party to win a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the July 10 polls, and a newly formed one at that.

The four seats at Sengkang GRC will be filled by a relatively young team from WP where the oldest member is Associate Professor Jamus Lim, 44, and the youngest is 26-year-old Raeesah Khan. For PAP though, it means that it has lost what it deems as a few good men.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a press conference after the final results were out: “Naturally, I'm disappointed that the PAP lost Sengkang GRC… (the team) always knew that it was going to be a tough fight. They gave it their all but Sengkang voters have spoken and we respect their decision.

“It is, however, a major loss to my team and to the 4G (fourth-generation PAP) leaders.”

The WP team, which also comprised Ms He Ting Ru, 37, and Mr Louis Chua, 33, won the GRC with 52.13 per cent of the vote against PAP’s 47.87 per cent.

Kept out from Parliament are Mr Ng Chee Meng, 51, chief of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office; Dr Lam Pin Min, 50, Senior Minister of State for Health and Transport; Mr Amrin Amin, 42, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health; and new candidate Raymond Lye, 54. 

Mr Lee said that he has spoken to the PAP team to “thank them and to encourage them to continue to serve the party and Singapore in different ways”. 

“PAP will strive to win back Sengkang GRC. We will also continue to fight to win back on Aljunied GRC and Hougang Single Member Constituency,” he added.

He also said that it is a “significant loss to the 4G team” during this time especially since Mr Ng is the secretary-general of NTUC, though he will remain in that post.

As for Dr Lam, he has “made contributions on many different issues” during his time in the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Health.

“And Amrin Amin is a very promising young Malay senior parliamentary secretary and he has done quite a lot in the Ministry of Home Affairs, particularly for the Malay community on drugs and on other very difficult issues,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lye, a lawyer, is not a political office-holder, but Mr Lee said that he has been a long-standing grassroots leader in Punggol East who knows the area “well” and “intimately”, and “would have been able to add a very good feel to the team”.

Last week, Mr Lee had lent weight to the Sengkang GRC team’s campaigning efforts by making a guest appearance at a Facebook Live session that it held on July 4. There, he urged voters to pick the “real thing” and not “PAP-lite”.

The term "PAP-lite" was first used by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, a member of PAP’s central executive committee, when he was debating on national television with Assoc Prof Lim about WP’s manifesto.

Dr Balakrishnan said that the manifesto took similar positions as PAP's except that WP had used it as a reference point and took a "half step to the left”.

Mr Lee later used the same term to reinforce the point that the opposition parties have no plan to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

“They take the PAP’s plan (and) say, ‘It’s very good and here are a few holes, please patch the holes, here are a few places where you can add more money, make it cheaper, do more, work harder’. I also can (do that)! ... this is PAP-lite, but... why do you want to settle for PAP-lite? The real thing is much better. And here in Sengkang, you have the real thing with the four members of our PAP team."

On Saturday, after voters have signalled that they wanted “PAP-lite”, Mr Lee said: “It's a loss, not to have (the PAP Sengkang GRC team) in my Members of Parliament team and in my Cabinet. But we will move forward and move on from here, as we did after Aljunied went to the opposition in 2011.”

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Related topics

SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election Sengkang GRC PAP WP Lee Hsien Loong Ng Chee Meng

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