Jul 11, 2020, 2:13 am SGT
SINGAPORE – A new team from the People’s Action Party (PAP) led by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo secured 65.37 per cent of the votes against the Peoples Voice (PV) team headed by party chief Lim Tean in the four-member Jalan Besar GRC.
The GRC was keenly watched as two veteran MPs had before this election – former communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim and Dr Lily Neo.
Both were spotted on the ground to lend the new team their support.
Mrs Teo, 51, is standing in Jalan Besar GRC for the first time, following a move from Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
“We are very humbled by the residents’ strong support and we have always said from the beginning that we don’t take their support for granted. We have to earn it. Certainly given that I myself as well as Rizal are new to Jalan Besar, there is a need for us to put in the time and effort to get to know our residents and to listen to their concerns,” she said.
“Jalan Besar is a mature estate, we need to constantly rejuvenate it. We are very very happy to welcome the younger families who have moved in as a result of all the BTOs that have come up. We also want to outreach to them and develop that relationship with them.”
Her move had been closely watched following the Covid-19 outbreak in foreign worker dormitories, for which PV’s Mr Lim said she was responsible.
During the campaign, Mr Lim, 55, had called on voters in Jalan Besar to treat the election as a referendum on her, describing Mrs Teo as “one of the greatest failures in the 4G leadership”.
Mrs Teo led a team comprising Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, 58, Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua, 59, and PAP new face Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, 42.
In their campaign, they focused on education, jobs and skills upgrading.
The PV team comprised Mr Lim, 66-year-old blogger Leong Sze Hian, Mr Nor Azlan Bin Sulaiman, 49, and Mr Michael Fang Amin, 43.
At the 2015 General Election, the PAP team won 67.7 per cent of the votes in the GRC, beating the Workers’ Party (WP).
Jalan Besar GRC, with 107,936 voters, is home to Singapore’s oldest areas with great potential for renewal and rejuvenation, according to the authorities.
It also has a high concentration of seniors as well as low-income households, but its demography is beginning to shift with a number of build-to-order (BTO) residential projects in the pipeline.
It was first created in the 1959 Legislative Assembly election and became a three-member GRC in 1988, comprising the seats of Jalan Besar, Kolam Ayer and Geylang West.
It expanded to become a five-member GRC in the 2001 General Election after absorbing Whampoa, Kallang and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng.
However, it was dissolved in 2011, with the formation of Moulmein-Kallang GRC. Jalan Besar GRC was contested again in the 2015 General Election.
The GRC, known to be a PAP stronghold, has since 1988 seen contests from many political parties, including the WP, Singapore Democratic Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance.
It also saw a walkover in 1991.