GE2015: Three-cornered fights, NCMPs

3-way fights see biggest wins and losses for SMCs

Independent candidate in Bukit Batok manages only 150 votes; loses polls deposit

The three-cornered fights in this election were, in substance, straight fights between opposition candidates and those of the People's Action Party (PAP).

In all three Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) where three-sided contests took place, opposition candidates were crushed by their rivals from the PAP.

The three-cornered battles also produced the night's biggest wins and losses for SMCs.

The contest at the new Bukit Batok SMC, carved out from the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC) this year, had the night's biggest loss.

The loss was sustained by independent candidate Samir Salim Neji, 45, who stood against the PAP's Mr David Ong, 54, and Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) Mr Sadasivam Veriyah, 63.

Mr Samir managed only 150 votes or 0.6 per cent of the votes. The PAP's Mr Ong, a grassroots leader since 1999, won 72.99 per cent of the votes while SDP's Mr Sadasivam got 26.4 per cent.

A Kerala-born managing director of a software firm who became a Singapore citizen in 2004, Mr Samir was sanguine about his loss.

He said: "I got some votes, just not enough. But being part of this election, this change where more opposition voices are being heard, has been very exciting."

Because he was unable to obtain at least 12.5 per cent of the votes, he will have to forfeit his election deposit of $14,500.

At Radin Mas SMC, PAP's Mr Sam Tan, 56, won 77.25 per cent of the votes, the highest percentage of votes across all SMCs and a marked improvement from the 67.1 per cent he received in 2011.

Radin Mas opposition candidate Kumar Appavoo, 46, of the Reform Party, got 12.71 per cent of the votes and will keep his election deposit.

Independent candidate Han Hui Hui, the youngest contender in this election at age 24, got 10.04 per cent of the votes in Radin Mas SMC and will have to forfeit her deposit. The diminutive blogger left the counting centre at Radin Mas Primary School last night in a car, lying prone in the back seat.

She later thanked Radin Mas residents on her Facebook page and added: "I understand that I still have got a long way to go."

Mr Tan, in his thank-you speech at Toa Payoh Stadium early this morning, said: "This strong and clear mandate given to me actually strengthens my resolve to want to do more and better for Radin Mas and our residents.

"My team and I will never take your support for granted."

Radin Mas resident Gerald Tang, 37, an engineer, said: "I think the result is a good improvement. It shows that people can see Mr Sam Tan has been trying his best to improve the area and help the elderly and low-income residents in this mature estate."

The closest of the three-cornered contests was in MacPherson SMC, which was newly carved out of Marine Parade GRC this year.

PAP candidate Tin Pei Ling, 31, who came under heavy fire in 2011 because of her youth and inexperience, secured 65.58 per cent of the votes.

The Workers' Party's Bernard Chen, 29, got 33.6 per cent and the National Solidarity Party's Cheo Chai Chen, 64, got 0.82 per cent, the second lowest percentage of votes in this election.

MacPherson resident Susan Tan, 66, a retiree, said: "Ms Tin has treated us residents well, everything we bring up to her she deals with. Her win is not a surprise."

Ms Tin, who hit the campaign trail just two weeks after she gave birth to son Kee Hau on Aug 5, told reporters in Mandarin at Bedok Stadium: "I will make arrangements both to care for my newborn son and also continue to manage MacPherson well and speak up for residents in Parliament. I will do my best to juggle these two roles."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2015, with the headline '3-way fights see biggest wins and losses for SMCs'. Print Edition | Subscribe