SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Liang Eng Hwa has edged out Dr Paul Tambyah from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for the single seat of Bukit Panjang.
Mr Liang clinched 53.74 per cent of valid votes against the SDP chairman who garnered 46.26 per cent.
Mr Liang was moved from Holland Bukit-Timah GRC for this election, replacing retiring former MP Teo Ho Pin who had represented Bukit Panjang since 2006 after it was carved out of the former Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC.
During campaigning, Mr Liang said that his focus is to reach out to residents and to hear their concerns firsthand.
His opponent Dr Tambyah, an infectious diseases expert, also contested the ward for the first time. It was a surprise move as he had been expected to lead SDP’s Holland-Bukit Timah GRC team, having contested there in 2015.
Speaking to reporters outside the SDP headquarters in Ang Mo Kio after the results were announced, Dr Tambyah reiterated that this General Election was a “crisis election” that was called during a pandemic.
“We've seen a number of the events that occurred today with the fiasco about the gloves, about the PPE (personal protective equipment), at the end of the day where polling agents had to leave the polling stations," he said.
He added that these incidents "just emphasised the recklessness and the opportunism of the PAP in holding the campaign in the middle of a pandemic”.
“Nevertheless, we deal with the cards that we’re dealt with,” said Dr Tambyah, while thanking SDP supporters and the party’s media team.
“I think we can all hold our heads up high. We've done a strong campaign considering the circumstances."
He added: “As I said before, it would be a miracle if we get in and so unfortunately miracles didn't happen. But again we're grateful for the experience”.
Echoing party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, Dr Tambyah said: “I'm sure we'll do better the next time”.
The PAP won three consecutive elections in Bukit Panjang, with 68.4 per cent of the vote in 2015 against the SDP’s 31.6 per cent.
Bukit Panjang SMC’s electoral boundaries were unchanged from the previous polls. There are 35,497 eligible voters in the constituency.
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