GE2015: Veteran PAP MP Charles Chong to contest WP-held Punggol East SMC

Mr Charles Chong at Rivervale Drive in Sengkang on Aug 27, 2015. He will contest Punggol East SMC at the upcoming general election. ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
Mr Charles Chong will contest Punggol East SMC at the coming general election. PHOTO: PAP
A card carrying a message from Mr Charles Chong slotted in the metal gates of a home in Punggol East. ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

SINGAPORE - Experienced MP Charles Chong will stand in the Workers' Party-held Punggol East at the coming polls, as the People's Action Party (PAP) bids to wrest back control of the single-member constituency (SMC).

Mr Chong, 62, was confirmed as the PAP's candidate there in a press release on Thursday (Aug 27) morning, a surprise departure from the ongoing practice of announcing it at a media conference.

Mr Chong's current Joo Chiat single-seat ward has been absorbed by Marine Parade GRC following the electoral boundaries review last month. Current Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Edwin Tong will take over the ward, if he is elected, in the Marine Parade five-man team.

Mr Chong is set to face WP incumbent Lee Li Lian, 37, who won Punggol East in a 2013 by-election.

Ms Lee had contested in a four-cornered fight, which included the PAP's first-time candidate Koh Poh Koon, after former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer was forced to step down. She garnered 54.5 per cent of the vote share.

Mr Chong is a seasoned politician who has fought six general elections since he entered politics in 1988. He started out in Sembawang group representation constituency (GRC) before moving to Eunos GRC, Pasir Ris GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, where he served two terms.

At the 2011 General Election, he fended off the WP's Mr Yee Jenn Jong in a close fight in Joo Chiat, polling 51 per cent of the votes.

Mr Chong has been working the ground, as well as holding Meet-the-People sessions, in Punggol East in the past month.

With the PAP also unveiling its slates for East Coast GRC and Fengshan SMC earlier on Thursday, only the party's line-up for the five-member Aljunied GRC has not been revealed. An announcement is expected on Friday.

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