Singapore GE: 4 new SMCs created, as 3 existing SMCs - Fengshan, Sengkang West and Punggol East - are removed

Punggol East (above) and Sengkang West - which have traditionally been stomping grounds for the opposition Workers' Party - have been redrawn.
Punggol East (above) and Sengkang West - which have traditionally been stomping grounds for the opposition Workers' Party - have been redrawn.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Four out of 14 single-member constituencies (SMCs) will be new ones, according to the report of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee made public on Friday (March 13).

These SMCs have been carved out from larger GRCs, all PAP strongholds: Kebun Baru out of Nee Soon GRC, Marymount out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Punggol West out of Pasir Ris-Punggol, and Yio Chu Kang out of Ang Mo Kio.

The total number of SMCs is one more than the existing 13 SMCs.

When constituency boundaries were last reviewed ahead of the 2015 general election, three new SMCs were created from larger GRCs: Bukit Batok was carved out of Jurong GRC, Fengshan out of East Coast GRC, and MacPherson out of Marine Parade GRC.

Fengshan is now one of three single seats, including Sengkang West and Punggol East, that have been scrapped and will no longer exist.

Fengshan will go back to East Coast GRC, which has been bumped up to a five-man team.

Meanwhile, Sengkang West and Punggol East - which have traditionally been stomping grounds for the opposition Workers' Party - have been redrawn, and will now be part of a new four-member Sengkang GRC.

The move to carve out new SMCs is largely expected, given the committee's earlier directive to have more than 13 SMCs.

Analysts had also predicted that the large six-member Ang Mo Kio and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRCs could be reduced by one ward each, to produce new SMCs.

 
 
 

Potong Pasir, with 16,739 voters - far below the lower limit of 20,000 set for SMCs - had been the subject of speculation that it could be wiped off the electoral map.

As a constituency held by opposition veteran Chiam See Tong from 1984 to 2011, its boundaries had remained untouched for more than 30 years, even as its population continued to shrink.

But the SMC remains, thanks to the inclusion of several polling districts from Marine Parade GRC and some adjustments which bumped up its voter number to 18,551.

Over at Nee Soon GRC, the carve-out of Kebun Baru will take 22,413 voters with it. PAP's Mr Henry Kwek, who now helms the ward, will have to battle solo if there are no personnel changes.

 
 

The new Marymount SMC covers areas currently under Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Josephine Teo, who is Minister for Manpower, while Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Sun Xueling, who is Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development, will find herself helming Punggol West SMC.

Ditto for Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Koh Poh Koon at Yio Chu Kang, which was hived off as an SMC in the 2006 general election, before being returned to Ang Mo Kio GRC in 2011. Dr Koh is Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry.