PAP announces line-up for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

(From left) Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of State Sim Ann, MP Liang Eng Hwa and MP Christopher de Souza.
(From left) Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of State Sim Ann, MP Liang Eng Hwa and MP Christopher de Souza.PHOTO: PEOPLE'S ACTION PARTY

SINGAPORE - A four-man team consisting of sitting People's Action Party (PAP) MPs will be defending the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in the coming general election.

The team, led by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, consists of Minister of State Sim Ann, MP Liang Eng Hwa and MP Christopher de Souza.

The group representation constituency (GRC), created in 2001, was contested for the first time in 2011.

The PAP team won the GRC with a vote share of 60.1 per cent in the 2011 election against a Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) team.

 
 

The GRC is largely unchanged from 2011, but has absorbed some areas from the dissolved Moulmein-Kallang GRC, and from neighbouring West Coast GRC. The expanded GRC now has 104,397 voters.

Dr Balakrishnan, 54, was elected in 2001 and has been an office holder since 2002. He is also the Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative.

Ms Sim Ann, 40, was a new face in 2011. The former President's scholar and senior civil servant revealed shortly after the last election that she was pregnant during the hustings. She gave birth to her third child, a boy, in November 2011.

She has been Minister of State for Education, and Communications and Information, since September 2013.

Mr de Souza, 39, a lawyer, and Mr Liang Eng Hwa, 51, managing director at DBS, are both second-term MPs. Mr de Souza initiated a private Bill to combat human trafficking in Parliament last year.

The SDP has declared its interest in contesting the ward again, but at least three of the four in the team that stood in Holland-Bukit Timah in the last election have left the party.

The three who have left SDP are: former civil servant and presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, psychiatrist and retired army colonel Ang Yong Guan, and Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, a social activist. Mr Tan and Dr Ang have formed a new party, Singaporeans First.

While the SDP has not unveiled its candidates, there are expectations that SDP chief Chee Soon Juan may lead a team to contest the GRC.

Dr Chee could not contest in the 2011 election as he was still a bankrupt.

Besides Holland-Bukit Timah, the PAP has announced the line-up for other GRCs including Marsiling Yew-Tee, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Chua Chu Kang, Jalan Besar, Jurong, Sembawang, Tanjong Pagar and West Coast.

The ruling party's candidates for nine of 13 SMCs have also been announced: MacPherson, Mountbatten, Hong Kah North, Bukit Batok, Hougang, Pioneer, Potong Pasir, Radin Mas and Sengkang West.