Singapore GE: Kebun Baru to return as SMC after nearly 30 years

Kebun Baru, which was part of Nee Soon GRC in 2015, will be a single-member constituency in the 2020 general election. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The upcoming Mayflower MRT station, located in Kebun Baru, is set to open later this year as part of phase two of the Thomson-East Coast Line. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

After nearly three decades, Kebun Baru ward will return as a single-member constituency (SMC) in the coming general election.

The ward, which was folded into Ang Mo Kio GRC in 1991 and redrawn into Nee Soon GRC in 2015, will take 22,413 voters from Nee Soon.

If the People's Action Party (PAP) does not make any changes to its line-up there, first-term MP Henry Kwek, who currently helms the ward, will fight it out on his own.

The executive director of an investment, trading and management consulting company was fielded in the last general election.

Mr Kwek, 43, told The Straits Times yesterday that his focus is still to serve the residents, be it as part of an SMC or a group representation constituency.

"Over the last few years, I have built a very deep bond with our Kebun Baru residents, and I would love to continue serving them," he said.

"But the final decision (on who will be fielded) lies with our party's Central Executive Committee."

Two in five residents in Kebun Baru are Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors. The ward has traditionally been a PAP stronghold, consistently scoring above the national and GRC average over the past few elections.

A slew of initiatives - from social work programmes to a professional networking club - have been put in place to help residents over the last few years, said Mr Kwek.

A new MRT station - Mayflower - is also set to open later this year as part of phase two of the Thomson-East Coast Line.

Former PAP MP Inderjit Singh, who helmed Kebun Baru for four terms, said Mr Kwek has been doing good work on the ground.

"I don't see why a new candidate would do better than him. It would be prudent for the PAP to keep Henry (in the ward)."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2020, with the headline Singapore GE: Kebun Baru to return as SMC after nearly 30 years. Subscribe