GE2015: Lam Pin Min wins Sengkang West SMC

Dr Lam (above) got 62.1 per cent of the votes compared to his Workers' Party opponent Koh Choong Yong, 50, who got 37.9 per cent.
Dr Lam (above) got 62.1 per cent of the votes compared to his Workers' Party opponent Koh Choong Yong, 50, who got 37.9 per cent.PHOTO: STARHUB

SINGAPORE - People's Action Party (PAP) incumbent Lam Pin Min, 46, has won Sengkang West SMC.

Dr Lam got 62.1 per cent of the votes compared with his Workers' Party opponent Koh Choong Yong, 50, who got 37.9 per cent.

Thanking residents for the strong mandate, Dr Lam said: "This is my commitment to Sengkang West residents: we will work even harder, we will listen to you even more, and we'll make Sengkang West an even better place and more endearing home for all of you."

In the 2011 General Election, Dr Lam won with 58.1 per cent of the vote against Mr Koh's 41.9 per cent. Some 26,882 voted then.

But the single-member constituency had changed significantly since - nearly 40 per cent of its current 30,119 voters did not vote there in 2011.

The number of voters in the area has burgeoned because 15 Build-to-Order (BTO) developments, with about 10,500 flats in all, have been completed in Sengkang West.

In addition, part of the ward - the area between Jalan Kayu and Fernvale Road - was absorbed into Ang Mo Kio GRC with the redrawing of electoral boundaries.

Dr Lam, who was first elected in 2006, has been pounding the ground and improving infrastructure in the young estate.

Under his watch, new facilities such as Seletar Mall, Anchorvale Community Centre and Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre have been built. Other improvements in the pipeline include dual-carriage trains for the crowded Sengkang LRT, and a jumbo childcare centre.

The Minister of State for Health's message was that he "understands the needs of residents much better".

His opponent Mr Koh offered voters an alternative voice in Parliament to weigh in on national issues.

Mr Koh, who worked as a legislative assistant in WP's Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC after the 2011 election, said voting opposition would result in a more responsive government.

He said he would speak up on issues he believes strongly in such as education, job security and retirement adequacy if elected.

One hot button issue that emerged in the ward was the columbarium saga.

As the incumbent MP, Dr Lam had to manage the fallout after news broke about a commercial columbarium that was slated for a plot of land near BTO homes in Fernvale Lea.

Some residents were upset when Dr Lam sat at the same table as the commercial developer at a dialogue in January.

The Government later rejected the plans by funeral services firm Eternal Pure Land to build the commercial columbarium, and called a second tender for the site.

Although Dr Lam acknowledged that the columbarium issue could affect voters to a certain extent, he said the matter has been largely resolved and added that residents have not raised the issue to him during his house visits.