Parliament: Electoral boundaries committee still deliberating report, says Chan Chun Sing

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has not completed its deliberations. PHOTO: GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has not completed its deliberations, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (Jan 6).

"When the EBRC has completed its work, the report will be presented to this House and released to the public," he said in a written reply on behalf of the Prime Minister to a parliamentary question by Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC).

The EBRC, a committee appointed by the Prime Minister and chaired by his secretary, was formed on Aug 1, 2019, in the first formal step towards the next general election.

The release of the committee's report, which will detail the battleground for the upcoming general election, is the next step before the President dissolves Parliament and issues the Writ of Election.

While there is no deadline for the report's release, past teams have taken anything from three weeks to seven months.

In the past three GEs under PM Lee Hsien Loong - in 2006, 2011 and 2015 - the election was called between two and three months of the report's release.

In recommending changes to existing group representation constituencies (GRCs) and single-member constituencies (SMCs), the EBRC will look at population changes in the various divisions.

It has been tasked to create more SMCs and further reduce the average size of GRCs, which were introduced in 1988 to ensure minority representation in Parliament.

The average size of GRCs has come down from 5.36 Members of Parliament in 2009, when PM Lee committed to make Singapore's electoral system more balanced, to 4.75 in the 2015 general election. The number of SMCs increased from nine in 2006 to 13 in 2015.

At the People's Action Party convention last November, PM Lee, who is also the party's secretary-general, gave clear signals that the ruling party was gearing up for the upcoming election.

The same month, the Elections Department announced new features at the upcoming polls, including self-inking pens and new polling booths. It also said it would organise roadshows to familiarise voters with the new equipment.

The next general election must be held by April 2021.

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