GE2015: Workers' Party's Png Eng Huat retains Hougang SMC

Workers' Party candidate Png Eng Huat speaking at the Worker's Party rally for Aljunied GRC at Serangoon Stadium on Sept 8, 2015.
Workers' Party candidate Png Eng Huat speaking at the Worker's Party rally for Aljunied GRC at Serangoon Stadium on Sept 8, 2015. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has held on to its stronghold of Hougang SMC.

WP incumbent Png Eng Huat got 57.69 per cent of the votes, while the People's Action Party (PAP) challenger Lee Hong Chuang had 42.31 per cent.

Mr Png, 53, has been MP for Hougang since 2012.

In the last general election in 2011, the WP won with 64.8 per cent of the vote against the PAP. In that election, the WP candidate was Mr Yaw Shin Leong, and the PAP candidate was Desmond Choo.

 

But Mr Yaw was later expelled from the WP for refusing to account to the party for an alleged extramarital affair. A by-election was called in 2012 and Mr Png, who replaced Mr Yaw, won 62.1 per cent of the vote against Mr Choo of the PAP.

Hougang SMC has 24,097 voters this election.

It has been held by the WP since 1991, when Mr Low Thia Khiang, now the party's secretary-general, first wrested it from the PAP's Mr Tang Guan Seng.

Mr Low served Hougang for two decades before leaving the ward in 2011 to stand in Aljunied group representation constituency (GRC), as part of a WP's "A" team which included party chairman Sylvia Lim and Rhodes scholar Chen Show Mao.

Mr Lee of the PAP, a first-time candidate and former national gymnast, had acknowledged the enormity of his task in an area where its residents strongly favoured the WP.

The 45-year-old senior IT manager's primary concern has been to forge a bond with the residents and to help solve their problems, which included a pledge to upgrade ageing facilities in the estate.

He had been an active presence on the ground four or five times a week since May last year, and previously vowed to continue meeting residents in his current capacity as the PAP's Hougang branch chairman even if he loses to Mr Png.