PAP MPS: WE ARE SURPRISED BY BOUNDARY CHANGES

With yesterday’s release of the Election Boundaries Review Committee report, Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) have been lining up to express their “surprise” at the changes. They say that some of their plans have been affected, but they will take the changes in their stride.

MPs of Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency (GRC), for instance, did not expect the carving out of Yew Tee ward to form a new Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

“That was surprising,” said Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad, adding that he and his fellow MPs were still engaging in their usual chatter Thursday. Zaqy said that his team would now have to go back to the drawing board.

He added that while it was anticipated that “at least one” ward from the five-member GRC could be carved out as a single-seat ward, the team had expected that the change would affect the Nanyang area near Jurong West under MP Alvin Yeo.

Mr Alex Yam, who oversees the Yew Tee area, was equally surprised by the development, as the distance between parts of the two towns is a 20-minute drive away.

Jurong GRC MP David Ong, whose Bukit Batok constituency will now be an SMC, also said he did not expect the change. Adding that he will do his best if he was fielded in Bukit Batok, the first-time MP added: “We do expect the opposition to be more active” in a single-seat ward.

For Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Denise Phua, her Kampong Glam constituency is now under Jalan Besar GRC, which was last seen in the 2006 elections before the formation of Moulmein-Kallang GRC and Whampoa SMC in 2011.

“The profile of residents in the new Jalan Besar GRC divisions appears to be more similar, and there should be more synergy when serving them,” she said.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, who is the MP of the smallest single-member ward Potong Pasir, said he was glad the constituency was kept intact, even though there were expectations that it could be absorbed into a GRC given its size. Having wrested the seat from long-serving Opposition MP Chiam See Tong in the last GE in 2011, he hoped to contest in the constituency again.

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