SINGAPORE - The report of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee was made public on Friday (July 24), in a sign that the elections may be drawing near.
The five-member committee submitted its report to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday. The Government has accepted the recommendations, which are to be implemented at the next hustings due before January 2017.
The committee, chaired by the secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr Tan Kee Yong, was tasked with reviewing the boundaries of the current electoral divisions. It was also asked to recommend the number of, and boundaries of, Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), based on the estimated number of electors as of Aug 1, 2015.
To do this, it took into account significant increases or decreases in the number of electors in the current electoral divisions due to population shifts and housing developments.
Another task it had was to reduce the average size of GRCs to below five, and to have at least 12 SMCs.
There are an estimated 2,460,977 electors as on Aug 1, which is 110,720 more than in 2011. So, the committee worked on the basis of a range of 20,000 to 37,000 voters per Member of Parliament (MP), allowing for a variation of 30 per cent as per previous practice.
In comparison, the range in 2011 was between 20,000 and 36,000 voters per MP.
With the changes, the total number of elected MPs will rise to 89 from the current 87. This comprises 13 from SMCs and 76 from GRCs - up from 12 elected MPs from SMCs and 75 from GRCs in 2011.
The 13 SMCs for the upcoming hustings are: Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Fengshan, Hong Kah North, Hougang, MacPherson, Mountbatten, Pioneer, Potong Pasir, Punggol East, Radin Mas, Sengkang West and Yuhua.
There will be six four-member GRCs (Chua Chu Kang, East Coast, Holland-Bukit Timah, Jalan Besar, Marsiling-Yew Tee, West Coast), eight five-member ones (Aljunied, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Jurong, Marine Parade, Nee Soon, Sembawang, Tampines, Tanjong Pagar) and two six-member ones (Ang Mo Kio and Pasir Ris-Punggol).
The committee also includes Housing Board chief executive Cheong Koon Hean, Singapore Land Authority chief executive officer Tan Boon Khai, Department of Statistics chief statistician Wong Wee Kim, and Elections Department head Lee Seng Lup.