Forum: Revert to 3-member GRCs once and for all

Election posters in Sengkang GRC on July 6, 2020.
Election posters in Sengkang GRC on July 6, 2020.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

I agree that the group representation constituency (GRC) system needs to be relooked (Time to review GRC system, by Mr Ang Keng Kiat, July 13).

The system was implemented in 1988 with three-member GRCs to ensure minority representation in government.

It was fair. However, over the next 23 years up to the 2011 General Election, the system grew to accommodate six-member GRCs in order to bring in unknown but highly qualified candidates.

The People's Action Party (PAP) Government should revert to three-member GRCs once and for all. This is to prevent a future prime minister from enlarging an opposition-held GRC in desperation in order to challenge it.

With smaller three-member GRCs there will be an increased number of single-member constituencies (SMCs) for a more level playing field at the general election.

However, an SMC-only system may backfire for the opposition parties as it would encourage individuals with questionable credentials to join the fray, resulting in more three-cornered contests as happened in the 1960s and 1970s.

With smaller GRCs and more SMCs, we can prevent freak GE results.

Lim Jit Chaing

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2020, with the headline 'Revert to 3-member GRCs once and for all'. Subscribe