Close ranks and unite after 2015 General Election: Ministers

(From left) Tan Chuan-Jin, Edwin Tong (hidden), Dr Fatimah Lateef, Goh Chok Tong and Seah Kian Peng from the People's Action Party (PAP) hugging after hearing the results for Marine Parade GRC.
(From left) Tan Chuan-Jin, Edwin Tong (hidden), Dr Fatimah Lateef, Goh Chok Tong and Seah Kian Peng from the People's Action Party (PAP) hugging after hearing the results for Marine Parade GRC.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - Ministers yesterday (Sept 13) called on Singaporeans to close ranks, reflect and move forward together as a nation after the heat of the hustings.

They also said the strong mandate voters gave the People's Action Party (PAP) meant it was even more important for the Government to consult and involve citizens more deeply in shaping its policies.

The PAP won 83 out of 89 seats in Parliament at last Friday's (Sept 11) General Election, and got 69.9 per cent of the popular vote - an upward swing of almost 10 percentage points from the 2011 General Election.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told reporters it was also important for the opposition to reflect on what happened, and how it can continue to play a constructive role in Singapore politics going forward, as it must.

"Everyone will be included in the way we go forward, and everyone must feel included in the way we go forward," he said. "With a very strong mandate, the Government is in a unique position to unify everyone and to take us forward."

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said that while differences of opinion would not go away, the key was to find common ground on some things and agree to disagree on others.

And Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the strong support for the PAP "makes it even more important for us to engage even more extensively and even more deeply".

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a short speech to residents at The Pinnacle@Duxton, said the poll result shows Singaporeans and the world "which way we are going".

"That we know how to come together, that we know how to work as one team, that we are able to find a good set of leaders and people in order to take Singapore forward."

Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew represented Tanjong Pagar for 60 years, and the GRC turned in one of the best results for the PAP nationwide.

Said PM Lee: "I think if Mr Lee had been looking at the result, he would have been very happy. We are happy too."

He added: "Let us go forward and make sure that we keep on building Singapore for many years to come."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2015, with the headline 'Close ranks and unite after GE: Ministers'. Print Edition | Subscribe