Back on the map

Four constituencies have been revived ahead of the general election. Insight looks at what's up in the new 'old' seats.

with some saying the area is "good and very safe". Fengshan residents, by and large, are satisfied with the amenities in the ward,
Fengshan residents, by and large, are satisfied with the amenities in the ward, with some saying the area is "good and very safe".ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Three single-member constituencies (SMCs) and one group representation constituency (GRC) have been reborn after the electoral boundaries report was released 10 days ago. They did not feature in the 2011 General Election but are all familiar names in Singapore politics. Among the constituencies that have been revived is Jalan Besar GRC.

Rich with history, Jalan Besar is regarded as a stronghold of the People's Action Party (PAP), which had defended the turf against opposition parties in numerous elections since it became a GRC in 1988. But it will be challenged by a team from the Workers' Party (WP) at the general election.

MacPherson will go it alone, having been hived off from Marine Parade GRC for the second time.

As an SMC, it has seen a fair share of election battles over the past decades and is expected to be contested again in the next general election, with the WP already staking its claim. The current MP overseeing MacPherson ward, PAP's Ms Tin Pei Ling, has been working the ground hard since she was elected in 2011. But has the rookie MP done enough to convince the voters, if indeed she is fielded there?


Over at Bukit Batok, which has been carved out from Jurong GRC, another first-term MP, PAP's Mr David Ong, will have to battle solo, if there are no personnel changes. Residents there are also expecting a fight, and it looks like they will have one, with the Singapore Democratic Party saying it will stand there.

Also making a comeback on the electoral map is Fengshan SMC, extracted from East Coast GRC.

It is widely speculated that the PAP could field a fresh candidate or redeploy a political heavyweight at Fengshan, but either way, the person will face a fight.

The battle for Fengshan SMC could shape up to be a close contest between the PAP and the WP. Amid the heat of election campaigning to come, voters will evaluate the credentials of all the candidates to see who could best serve their interest.


A key attribute is whether the candidate is "gutsy enough" to air their grievances in Parliament, says former PAP MP for Fengshan Arthur Beng, 66. Dr Beng contested and won Fengshan when it was an SMC during the 1984 and 1988 elections, and represented the area when it was brought into then-Bedok GRC in 1991.

He says that PAP "probably have it clear in their mind who to put there, who would be able to hold on to the constituency".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2015, with the headline 'BACK ON THE MAP'. Print Edition | Subscribe