SINGAPORE – People’s Action Party candidate Sun Xueling has won in the Punggol West single-member constituency (SMC) with 60.97 per cent of the votes.
The newly formed SMC was contested by Ms Sun and Workers’ Party (WP) candidate Tan Chen Chen, who received 39.03 per cent.
Carved out of the Pasir Ris-Punggol group representation constituency (GRC) in the last electoral boundaries report, Punggol West SMC is home to 26,579 voters.
Over 60 per cent of residents in the constituency are younger than 60 and six in 10 of the Housing Board flats were built over the last five years. Many of them are owned by young families.
On the campaign trail, both candidates addressed cost of living concerns and issues that young parents face.
Ms Sun, 41, acknowledged residents’ employment concerns in the post-coronavirus job market, and their interest in upcoming developments in Punggol town, such as the Punggol Town Hub and Punggol Digital District.
She also highlighted her efforts to push for affordable infant milk formula and more pre-school options in the previous term.
The Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development has helmed the ward since her political debut in the 2015 General Election. This general election marks her first solo fight.
Residents told The Straits Times that Ms Sun has conducted regular door-to-door visits and walkabouts to interact with residents over the last few years.
Speaking after the results were in, Ms Sun said: “I would like to thank my residents for their trust and support. I have worked hard in the past five years but I recognise that the next five years need new solutions and new collaborative efforts.
“We have a challenging environment to navigate and cost of living, jobs and livelihoods will continue to be areas I will focus on, while ensuring that we have a safe and valued home in Punggol West.”
Ms Tan marks her political debut in this general election.
The 38-year-old contracts administrator, who has a three-month-old son, has volunteered with WP since 2015. She was active in Aljunied GRC, under former party chief Low Thia Khiang’s Bedok Reservoir-Punggol division, and learnt about the party’s decision to field her as a candidate while she was pregnant.
Along with her own concerns about rising home prices,she said she had come across residents who shared their concerns about road safety, cleanliness and school registration, while on the campaign trail.
In a post-election address streamed on Facebook, Ms Tan thanked voters of Punggol West.
She said: “This general election has been a humbling experience for me. Many of you extended a warm reception to us throughout the campaign. We deeply appreciate your kindness to our volunteers. Thank you for walking with us.”
Punggol resident Ms Devi, 27, who declined to give her full name, said both candidates appealed to voters’ concerns and she would embrace whatever changes came about in Punggol town in the future.
“I look forward to having more pre-schools in the area and sheltered walkways that will make it convenient for elderly residents to walk,” the pre-school teacher said.
Another resident, Mr Alvin Chia, said that while he had expected Ms Sun to win, he believed Ms Tan had campaigned well despite being unfamiliar with residents.
The 39-year-old sales manager said that he has seen Ms Sun on walkabouts often over the last five years, and was content with the development in the town.
He said: “The true test is to see how the Government will handle the current crisis in the coming months. The next five years will be an opportunity for Ms Sun to prove herself in the constituency. As residents, we will keep our eyes and hearts open to the changes being made here.”