SINGAPORE - As Singaporeans around the island headed to the polls on Friday (Sept 11) morning, an air of anticipation built up outside Raffles Girls' Primary School as first-time voters in Tanjong Pagar GRC stood in line as early as 7am.
Before the polling station opened at 8am, there were already 11 voters standing in line to get in.
Tanjong Pagar is facing its first electoral contest since it became a GRC in 1991, and voters like 75-year-old Maurine Tsakok were eager to seize this opportunity.
"I've been living in Tanjong Pagar for about 30 years and today I can finally show my support," said the gynaecologist, who arrived at Raffles Girls' Primary School at about 8am with her husband to cast her vote.
"I've been reading the blogs, catching up on the news about the rallies. I feel very happy and excited," she added.
Likewise for university student Jonathan Goh, going to the polls is about "making a difference in a small way".
"It's great to be part of history - both as a first time voter because I just turned 21 and also since this is the first time my GRC is being contested," he said. Mr Goh was at the polling station with his mother, Mrs Angela Goh, at about 10am.
Many voters were seen arriving with their family, including gynaecologist Christopher Ng, who was with his father, wife and sister.
"It's our duty to vote and exercise our rights as Singaporeans. If you care about Singapore, this is the time to express your views in a platform where everyone is equal regardless of your status or background," said the 46-year-old, who added that the family will be staying up to catch the announcement of the results later in the evening.
Over at New Town Primary School, another polling station in Tanjong Pagar GRC, a steady stream of voters were still seen close to noon.
Said IT manager Jeremy Villenguez: "Voting for the first time really gives me a sense of empowerment." The 40-year-old has lived in a three-room HDB flat in the area for more than 30 years.
"It's definitely a milestone for Singapore, although how big, we'll only know after the votes have been counted," he added.
"But I can feel that Singapore is changing and we're in exciting times now."