Jul 11, 2020, 1:37 am SGT
Jul 11, 2020, 2:09 am
SINGAPORE – Mr Sitoh Yih Pin of the People’s Action Party (PAP) has secured a third consecutive term as MP for single-seat Potong Pasir, defeating Mr Jose Raymond, chairman of Singapore People’s Party’s (SPP).
Mr Sitoh, 56, got 60.69 per cent of the votes – down from 66.4 per cent in the last general election in 2015.
He said, after the results were announced: “I’m grateful to the voters of Potong Pasir for giving us this mandate and allowing us to serve them for another five years.”
“Everything that we have promised in our five-year plan, we will, as always deliver.”
He added that he and his team were “confident, but never complacent”, in the face of Mr Raymond’s challenge.
On the lower margin of victory this time round, he said it could be because “30 per cent of voters are new to us, and we are new to them”, referring to residents of Joo Seng.
Potong Pasir’s electoral boundaries were changed this year for the first time in more than three decades, boosting its number of registered voters to 19,740.
Mr Sitoh wrested the SPP stronghold in 2011, when he emerged victorious against Mrs Lina Chiam, wife of opposition stalwart Chiam See Tong.
He won with a narrow margin of 114 votes, garnering 50.4 per cent of the votes.
Mr Chiam had held the single-seat constituency from 1984 until 2011, when he left to lead an SPP slate to contest Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, without success.
But for Mr Sitoh, it was third time lucky as he had unsuccessfully challenged Mr Chiam in Potong Pasir in 2001 and 2006.
This time, he was up against Mr Raymond, who said he had been walking the ground in Potong Pasir for 3 1/2 years before the general election.
During campaigning, Mr Sitoh pledged to continue to care for the young, the middle-aged and the elderly as he appealed to residents to let him continue his work “as a builder” that he started in 2011.
Estate upgrading will continue, he said, with a polyclinic in the new town of Bidadari to be ready by 2030, as well as a new activity hub.
Mr Raymond, meanwhile, envisioned a more compassionate society, promising to set up a community geriatricpProgramme.
He also called the meet-the-people sessions “out of date” and pledged to leverage technology to help residents more efficiently.
Speaking to the media just before the final results were announced, Mr Raymond described his first GE experience as “emotional” and said he was heartened that close to 40 per cent of Potong Pasir residents voted for him.
“The result should not stop me from wanting to help people… The work continues,” he said.
He added, though, that he would assess whether he wanted to continue in politics and consider running again in the future or “help people in a different way”.