GE2020 SINGAPORE VOTES: PRESS CONFERENCES

Singapore GE2020: A responsible opposition crucial to win investors' confidence, says PM Lee Hsien Loong

People casting their votes during the early voting time band for seniors at Chung Cheng High School (Main), a polling station in Mountbatten SMC, on Friday.
People casting their votes during the early voting time band for seniors at Chung Cheng High School (Main), a polling station in Mountbatten SMC, on Friday.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The People's Action Party (PAP) has earned a "good result" in the general election, and the Government will continue to fight to persuade the business community that Singapore is worthy of its confidence and investment, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

The Government will show that this is so by how it takes Singapore forward from this election, he said, adding that this depends not only on the actions of the Government, but also on the opposition's ability to convince investors that there is a responsible opposition that understands the national interest and will put that before party politics.

PM Lee, the PAP's secretary-general, was speaking at a virtual press conference after the final election results, which saw the PAP win 61.24 per cent of the popular vote.

The Workers' Party (WP) retained the five-member Aljunied GRC and the single seat of Hougang, and also won the newly formed four-member Sengkang GRC.

This took the number of elected opposition MPs in Parliament to 10 - a record high.

During the hustings, PM Lee had called on voters to give the PAP a strong mandate to lead the country through the Covid-19 crisis.

He had said investors will scrutinise the election results to see if Singaporeans are still one united people, strongly supporting the leaders they have chosen to overcome the crisis.

Thus, maintaining Singapore's "high reputation" is a matter of survival for the country, so it can attract investments from multinational corporations and be taken seriously by other countries.

Yesterday, PM Lee said the mandate was not as strong as he had hoped for, but "it's a good mandate".

Getting 61 per cent of the popular vote is very respectable under the present circumstances, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also Finance Minister, said the Government must press on with the work of economic restructuring and industry transformation. "The work of protecting jobs, saving jobs and creating new jobs must continue," he added.

 
 
 
 

"It is important for us to continue to emphasise the fundamentals that we have and... to be able to enhance investors' confidence."

Mr Heng, who is the PAP's first assistant secretary-general, said he had a "short chat" with the WP's East Coast GRC candidates Nicole Seah and Terence Tan earlier in the day. The PAP's East Coast GRC team that Mr Heng led won 53.41 per cent of the vote.

"They said that, look, we must work together, and this is about Singapore, Singapore's interest, and about our national interest," he said.

"So I look forward to the Workers' Party playing a constructive role and putting national interests before party interest."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2020, with the headline 'A responsible opposition crucial to win investors' confidence: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe