It was a memorable victory yesterday on several counts for Radin Mas SMC incumbent Sam Tan.
Not only did he increase his vote share by over 10 percentage points from GE2011, but his tally of 77.25 per cent was the highest garnered by the People's Action Party (PAP) for a single seat on a night of several expanded wins for the ruling party.
Mr Tan's stirring win came despite being in a three-cornered fight with independent candidate Han Hui Hui, 24, a civil society activist and blogger, and the Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo, 46.
That the overwhelming majority of the 28,906 voters backed him was vindication of his years of service, noted Mr Tan, who was elected an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC in 2006 following a walkover. He took charge of the Radin Mas ward when it was carved out five years later.
He had defeated his National Solidarity Party rival Yip Yew Weng with 67.10 per cent of the votes, the second-highest tally in 2011, behind fellow PAP member Amy Khor of Hong Kah North SMC.
In his victory speech at Toa Payoh Stadium last night, Mr Tan, 56, paid tribute to his residents and added: "This strong and clear mandate given to me has actually strengthened my resolve to do better for the Radin Mas residents.
"For the past nine years, Radin Mas has been a home to me. I've been walking the ground many times a week, day and night, and I have many friends there."
Both his defeated opponents declined to comment. Mr Kumar, who received 12.71 per cent of the votes, drove off from the Radin Mas Primary School counting centre without stopping to talk to the media, while Ms Han also declined to speak. With just 10.04 per cent of the votes, she will have to forfeit her $14,500 deposit.
Mr Tan, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, emphasised that he and his team had achieved many of the goals they had set out to; to transform and reinvigorate the ward, which has a larger-than-average proportion of elderly residents. It was important to ensure community bonds in Radin Mas were strengthened as they build "an enduring home for all", he noted.
"Most importantly, my team and I will never take your support for granted. We will want to do our best, not for ourselves, but for all Radin Mas residents... You are really the target audience to whom we want to pledge our service and dedication."