GE2015: PAP's Cheryl Chan wins Fengshan SMC with 57.5 per cent of votes

PAP's Cheryl Chan Wei Ling thanking a supporter after being declared the winner for Fengshan SMC.
PAP's Cheryl Chan Wei Ling thanking a supporter after being declared the winner for Fengshan SMC.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Singapore - The People's Action Party's Cheryl Chan has been elected Member of Parliament for the single-member constituency (SMC) of Fengshan.

The 38-year-old got 57.5 per cent of votes cast, compared with the Workers' Party candidate Dennis Tan's 42.5 per cent.

Ms Chan is the first PAP new face to be fielded in an SMC since the group representation constituency system was introduced in 1988. She replaced former Cabinet minister Raymond Lim, who is retiring from politics.

Her WP opponent Mr Tan is a 45-year-old shipping law firm partner.

 

Addressing supporters after her win, Ms Chan said: "I'm grateful that you are giving me this opportunity to serve you in this community."

"It will be residents first always," she added.

Fengshan, touted to be one of the hottest battlegrounds of the general election, was part of the East Coast GRC at the last election in 2011 but was carved out as a single seat ward for the Sept 11 polls.

Much talk has surrounded the motivations for this, with a popular theory claiming that the ward was hived off because it polled poorly in 2011, affecting the PAP's overall result in East Coast.

East Coast was the worst performing GRC won by the PAP in 2011, with the ruling party garnering just 54.8 per cent of the vote against a WP team.

Hiving off Fengshan, with its 23,427 registered voters, would then possibly protect East Coast for the PAP, according to some analysts.

While both Ms Chan and Mr Tan are fresh faces, neither are completely new to Fengshan, where about 70 per cent of residents live in public housing.

Ms Chan, the head of secondary industries at the Linde Group, a multinational gas and engineering company, is a long-time volunteer of the area for the past decade, having also lived there for years.

She has been involved in branch activities and has helped out at the Meet-the-People sessions and conducted house visits. She is also the chairman of the community club management committee, and started a befrienders programme for senior citizens.

Mr Tan, meanwhile, started walking the ground two years ago, and has reportedly covered all flats in the ward.

He has also said that he is committed to the needs of the residents and is ready to let his work as a lawyer take a back seat - although he will not stop practising - to focus on his work as an MP should he be elected.