On the ground: PAP

Edwin Tong may move to Marine Parade GRC

Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng (right) and Mr Edwin Tong greeting residents at a National Day celebratory parade in Marine Terrace yesterday.
Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng (right) and Mr Edwin Tong greeting residents at a National Day celebratory parade in Marine Terrace yesterday.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

First-term MP Edwin Tong looks set to move to Marine Parade GRC, as he attended his first public event there last night - a National Day celebratory parade - alongside the GRC's MPs.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin told reporters that Mr Tong has "recently" been on the ground in Joo Chiat, a former single seat that has been redrawn into Marine Parade GRC.

"Edwin is here actually helping out on the ground in Joo Chiat. He'll be learning about the area itself, getting to know the residents and seeing how best to serve them," Mr Tan said. But he stopped short of confirming whether Mr Tong would join the team, saying formal announcements about candidates would be made after National Day.

Mr Tong's Jalan Besar ward, previously part of Moulmein-Kallang GRC, is now part of the new Jalan Besar GRC, a four-MP constituency that takes in areas managed by five MPs. Five-MP Marine Parade GRC has also seen MacPherson ward carved out as a single seat, and taken in Joo Chiat. If Mr Tong is fielded in Marine Parade GRC, he will fill in for incumbent Joo Chiat MP Charles Chong, who is expected to contest the Workers' Party- held single seat of Punggol East.

Said Mr Tong: "I will start talking to the residents, to understand the issues that they have. It will not be easy to step in, but I will do what I can, I will do my best."

As for the rest of the People's Action Party slate in the GRC, Mr Tan told reporters at another constituency event earlier yesterday that Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, 74, an MP there, is "still very healthy" and the MPs hope he will stay in the team. He was replying in Mandarin to a reporter who asked if Mr Goh, who entered politics in 1976, was likely to stay on.

At the walkabout in the GRC's Braddell Heights ward with MP Seah Kian Peng, Mr Tan said he and Mr Seah would be "very happy" to remain in their current wards." Many of the residents would be happy if (Mr Seah) stays put. These will be important factors when we consider who will eventually be fielded in whatever ward," Mr Tan said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Edwin Tong may move to Marine Parade GRC'. Print Edition | Subscribe