ESM Goh Chok Tong to stand in Marine Parade for next election; reveals 'likely' team

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the "Future Begins with the Past" Marine Parade SG50 Celebratory Parade on Aug 2, 2015.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the "Future Begins with the Past" Marine Parade SG50 Celebratory Parade on Aug 2, 2015.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who has been an MP in Marine Parade since 1976, said on Tuesday (Aug 4) that he will likely stand in the next election.

In a post on the Marine Parade Facebook page, he revealed the People's Action Party (PAP)'s likely line-up in his five-member GRC for the next election.

Four of the five members of the current team will remain, except Ms Tin Pei Ling, whose MacPherson ward will be carved out as a single seat in the next General Election (GE).

The fifth member of ESM Goh's team is likely to be first-term MP Edwin Tong, whose current Jalan Besar ward is part of the soon-to-be-dissolved Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

He will likely be fielded in the Joo Chiat division, a closely-contested single seat that will be absorbed into Marine Parade GRC for the next GE. Joo Chiat's current MP, Charles Chong, is expected to contest the Workers' Party-held single seat of Punggol East.

 
 

Mr Tong attended his first public event at the constituency, a National Day celebratory parade, on Sunday. He also attended the Joo Chiat National Day dinner the same day.

Said ESM Goh: "At my request, (the) party sent Edwin Tong to Marine Parade GRC to be tested for Joo Chiat."

"This is likely to be the MP GRC team for GE," he added, referring to a picture of himself, Mr Tong, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin and veteran backbenchers Fatimah Lateef and Mr Seah Kian Peng

"As for me, a few friends have suggested that I retire as I have done enough for the country. But Marine Parade residents and many others urge me to stay on. They say the country and Marine Parade still need me."

He added that he will explain his decision at the GRC's National Day dinner to be held on Aug 14.

The PAP slate won 56.7 per cent of the vote against the National Solidarity Party (NSP) in 2011, which was the ruling party's second-closest shave in a group representation constituency, after East Coast.

It was also the first contest the constituency had seen since 1992 by-election, and the first time the vote share in its history had fallen below 70 per cent.

The constituency is also shaping up for a tough fight in the next hustings, with both the Workers' Party (WP) and NSP having said they intend to contest there. The Straits Times also understands that this was one of the flashpoints at an opposition meeting on Monday, with neither party wanting to budge.

Also on Tuesday, Mr Tan posted about the Joo Chiat National Day dinner on his Facebook page: "Appreciate the hospitality shown to both ESM and myself! We'd miss Charles but welcome Edwin Tong who will get to know all of you better, along with us in the team."