GE2020: Workers' Party retains Aljunied GRC with wider margin against PAP

GE2020: Workers' Party retains Aljunied GRC with wider margin against PAP

Aljunied GRC Workers' Party candidates walkabout
Workers' Party candidates for Aljunied GRC (from left to right) Sylvia Lim, Leon Perera, Pritam Singh, Gerald Giam, Faisal Manap. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party (WP) has retained Aljunied GRC with 59.93 per cent of the vote against the 40.07 per cent garnered by the People’s Action Party (PAP).

The WP team got 85,603 votes versus the PAP's 57,244 votes. There were 1,582 rejected votes.

The WP’s margin of victory this time is wider than in the 2015 General Election, when it held on to the GRC with 50.96 per cent of votes cast.

The WP’s five-member team includes secretary-general Pritam Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim and vice-chair Faisal Manap who were returned as Members of Parliament for a third time.

The other two candidates - Mr Gerald Giam and Mr Leon Perera – are new to the ward but were former Non-Constituency Members of Parliament. They were fielded in Aljunied GRC in this election to replace WP stalwarts Low Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao.

The Workers' Party also retained the Hougang SMC and won a new GRC - Sengkang. 

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"Thank you for voting for this Workers' Party team the same way you gave support to the Workers' Party team that came before us ... we will continue to endeavor for good outcomes on the ground, and to represent you in Parliament faithfully," said Mr Singh in a thank you speech after the results were finalised.

"Today's results are positive and we have to hit the ground running. We should not get over our heads with the results. There's much work to do."

Ms Lim spoke in Mandarin and Mr Faisal spoke in Malay, both also thanking the voters.

Mr Perera said he was "humbled" that residents in Aljunied had "made their vote count", while Mr Giam said that he will continue to consult Mr Low as he manages the constituency.

"We are indebted to Mr Low Thia Khiang for building up the party to what it is today," he said.

The WP had campaigned on a platform of bringing more diverse opposition voices to Parliament. In Aljunied, it emphasised that financial lapses clouding its management of the town council had been resolved.

The PAP team, comprising Mr Chua Eng Leong, Mr Victor Lye, Mr Alex Yeo, Ms Chan Hui Yuh and Mr Shamsul Kamar, had appealed to voters to "bring them home".

They emphasised what they have done for residents as grassroots advisors, and told voters that Singapore should "come together" in troubled times instead of being politically divided.

Mr Lye of the PAP team thanked the voters and congratulated the WP team after the results were announced.

"We stood against their leadership team, we worked very hard for many years and we respect the people's choice," he said.

Ms Chan added the team's thanks to residents in Mandarin, saying that they did their best.

In 2011, Aljunied GRC went down in history as the first GRC to be taken by an opposition party, with the WP winning 54.72 per cent of the vote against a PAP team that included former minister George Yeo and current Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who was then a first-time candidate.

In 2015, the PAP team that included Mr Chua, Mr Lye, Mr Shamsul, Mr Murali Pillai and former veteran MP Yeo Guat Kwang tried to wrestle back the ward but narrowly lost to WP, which clung on to the GRC with 50.96 per cent of the votes. 

Aljunied GRC’s electoral boundaries were unchanged this General Election and it is home to 151,007 voters.

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Source: CNA/hm

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