While Heng Swee Keat’s candidacy for GE2020 was closely guarded, many expected him to contest again in Tampines GRC. In a surprise move, Heng Swee Keat showed up at the St Anthony’s Canossian nomination centre in Bedok North to file his nomination papers for East Coast GRC. Heng Swee Keat will the replacement minister for retirees Lim Swee Say or Lee Yi Shyan. He will lead a five-member team consisting of himself, Maliki Osman, Jessica Tan Soon Neo, Cheryl Chan Wei Ling and ex-IMDA CEO Tan Kiat How.
The PAP will be going up against a straight fight with the Workers’ Party (WP) comprising of Nicole Seah, Dylan Ng, Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, Terence Tan and new face Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim. This will be the fourth time WP is contesting in East Coast GRC. WP has consistently walked the grounds of East Coast GRC. Therefore it comes with no surprise that WP commands a significant percentage of votes as seen in the previous elections, even reaching a high of 45.2% of votes in GE2011.
By moving Heng Swee Keat to East Coast GRC, it seems the PAP is hoping that the “4G leader” will be able to shore up whatever remaining support the PAP has in this GRC. Perhaps it is a sign of desperation when PAP has to force East Coast voters to decide on whether to vote WP in at the “cost” of losing a minister who is widely-speculated to be the next PM.