Tuesday, 28 July 2015

EBRC 2015 Report: Battle's Begun

Electoral boundaries report 2015: Which will be the 'hot' seats in the coming general election
"Hot Seats" - East Coast, Jalan Besar, Tampines GRCs, Fengshan SMC, Holland-Bukit Timah, Sembawang GRCs, Bukit Batok SMC, Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson SMC, Potong Pasir SMC

Speculation about when the upcoming general election will be held gathered steam with the release of the electoral boundaries review committee's report (EBRC) on Friday afternoon.

Political observers predict that the 13 Single-Member Constituencies (SMCs) and the six four-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) will attract strong interest from the opposition parties.

While the field will become clear only on Nomination Day, we asked political analysts what could be the possible "hot" seats.

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GE battle lines drawn

Heralding changes that include more four-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and three new single-member wards — but also the disappearance of one which was closely fought in the 2011 General Election (GE) — the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee made public its report yesterday, marking the penultimate step before Parliament can be dissolved for the next GE.

The five-member committee submitted its report to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, eight days after he announced in Parliament that it had been formed two months ago. The Government has accepted the committee’s recommendations, which political analysts labelled more evolutionary than radical.

The release of the report paves the way for Parliament to be dissolved and polls to be called, though observers could not come to a consensus on whether they would be held as soon as September — as has been widely rumoured — or as late as next year. Elections are due by January 2017, but all those contacted by TODAY agreed that the GE would be called well before that.

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A look at dropped, reintroduced SMCs and GRCs

The latest Parliamentary Electoral Map has two Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and three Single-Member Constituencies (SMCs) that were not around in the 2011 General Election: Jalan Besar GRC, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, Bukit Batok SMC, Fengshan SMC and MacPherson SMC.

Meanwhile, three constituencies will not be in the next GE line-up: Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Joo Chiat SMC, and Whampoa SMC.

We take a closer look at some of these constituencies:
  • Reintroduced - Jalan Besar GRC, McPherson SMC, Bukit Batok SMC, Fengshan SMC
  • Dropped - Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Joo Chiat SMC, Whampoa SMC
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EBRC objectives: Stop “Out of Aljunied”, Stop SDP Breakthrough and “Negative-Asset” Ministers

First of all, we have to congratulate the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee for creating more competitions, especially, multi-cornered competitions in the East.

When making changes, EBRC aims to achieve 3 goals:
  • To prevent “Out of Aljunied” for Workers’ Party.  This is the most important objective.
  • To prevent SDP making any breakthrough in the North and Central.  
  • To look for a solution to retire “negative-asset” ministers or reduce PAP damages.
From the reported claims from different political parties, we will expect multi-cornered contests not only in single constituencies but also in group representative constituencies.

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News analysis: Sober report, with a few puzzles


The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee released its much-awaited report yesterday, a document that will be pored over for what it says about the political landscape and the coming election.

But in truth, its 14-page report, full of tables giving number of voters in each constituency, was fairly unremarkable.

Its most remarkable decision comes in the form of a small but potent bombshell. Joo Chiat Single Member Constituency has disappeared, swallowed by People's Action Party stronghold Marine Parade GRC. In the 2011 General Election, Workers' Party (WP) candidate Yee Jenn Jong had garnered 48.99 per cent of votes.

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More detailed explanation needed to fend off gerrymandering claims: Analysts

Noting that the boundary changes announced on Friday (Jul 24) were not drastic, political analysts nevertheless felt the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee should explain in greater detail the rationale behind its decisions to fend off perennial accusations of gerrymandering from the Opposition.

Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said the generic reasons given for the redrawing of boundaries, which include taking into consideration population shifts and housing developments, still leave many questioning how they were done.

“Because sometimes voters are unable to explain or even observers are unable to explain why the boundaries were redrawn the way that they are, that fact lends itself to possible criticisms of gerrymandering,” he said.

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Analysts: Why keep six-member GRCs?

The retention of two jumbo group representation constituencies is likely to attract bewilderment if not criticism, four political observers said yesterday in comments on the newly redrawn electoral map.

Political scientist Derek da Cunha said: "The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report will not satisfy everyone. But, in my opinion, one justifiable gripe that many people will likely have is the retention of six-member GRCs."

Their presence on the electoral landscape is all the more stark in the light of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's direction to the committee to shrink GRCs to an average of below five MPs, the analysts said.

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Electoral Boundaries report: 3 SMCs reintroduced, but Joo Chiat, Whampoa dissolved

Three single-seat constituencies that did not feature in Singapore’s 2011 General Election will be contested in the upcoming edition.

The report from the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, released on Friday (Jul 24), saw an increase in the number of Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) to 13 from 12 previously.

The new SMCs are Bukit Batok with an estimated 27,068 electors, Fengshan with 23,404 electors, and MacPherson with 28,481 electors. All three are familiar names to the political landscape, with all previously existing as SMCs in GEs prior to 2011.

related:
Electoral boundaries drawn for next General Election
A look at the 4 constituencies reintroduced for the upcoming GE
'We are ready': PAP's Heng Swee Keat on next General Election
Opposition parties cry foul over changes to electoral boundaries
Opposition parties studying Electoral Boundaries Review Committee's Report


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Yaacob welcomes return of Jalan Besar GRC
PAP candidates for Moulmein- Kallang GRC Yaacob Ibrahim (second from left), Edwin Tong, (third from left) Lui Tuck Yew, and Denise Phua at Singapore Chinese Girls' School on the Nomination Day of General Election 2011. Jalan Besar GRC's dissolution in 2011 saw the birth of Moulmein- Kallang GRC, which will now vanish after just one election.BT FILE PHOTO

The anchor minister of the short-lived Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, last night said he welcomed the resurrection of Jalan Besar GRC, which was unexpectedly wiped off the electoral map in the last general election.

Its revival will largely undo boundary changes made in 2011, reuniting wards that were scattered to Tanjong Pagar GRC and Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

It will also reabsorb its old Whampoa ward, which in the last election was carved out as a new single-seat constituency under Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Heng Chee How.

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Bye Bye, Yaacob Ibrahim and Lui Tuck Yew’s Moulmein-Kallang GRC
GRC with two unpopular Ministers disappear

It is the only Group Representation Constituency (GRC) that disappeared after the release of the Report of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee on 24 July 2015.

A substantial part of Moulmein-Kallang GRC, which is led by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, forms 60.6% of the new Jalan Besar GRC.

The new GRC is formed from Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC (19%) and the whole of the now-defunct Whampoa SMC (20%).

related:
Everything you need to know about the Electoral Boundaries Report in 60 seconds
WP’s Yee Jenn Jong is a sad, sad man now that his Joo Chiat SMC is no more
Based on the number of estimated voters, Lee Li Lian is most hardworking SMC MP
The changes in the newly-drawn electoral boundaries, summarised in one GIF
Outspoken PAP MP Inderjit Singh first to announce his retirement


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Lui Tuck Yew expresses ‘disappointment’ at Moulmein-Kallang GRC’s dissolution
Mr Lui Tuck Yew at a PAP Rally in the run up to the 2011 General Election. TODAY file photo

Moulmein-Kallang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Lui Tuck Yew today (July 24) expressed disappointment that his constituency would be dissolved, following the release of the electoral boundaries report this afternoon.

“I know that for the grassroots leaders, the volunteers, even the branch activists, this will come as a surprise and will also be a huge disappointment to them, but we have to understand why this is happening,” he added, referring to the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee’s guidelines for smaller GRCs.

“I know Prime Minister has given the guidelines to the boundaries committee to have smaller GRCs, and... to create more GRCs, smaller GRCs, then naturally the boundaries will have to shift, and I think in this case, Moulmein is one of the more affected constituencies.”

related:
PAP MPs say changes are needed to their plans
Electoral boundaries report: 13 SMCs, 16 GRCs for next GE
Increase of more than 110,000 voters since GE2011
Support teams that best represent voters’ interest: PM Lee
Release of electoral boundaries report among fastest to date


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Is Lui also leaving politics?

Minister for Transport, Mr Lui Tuck Yew posted a status update on his Facebook last night in light of the report by Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC).

The Group Representation Constituency, which is headed by Mr Lui, is set to disappear once the parliament is dissolved for the upcoming general election.

“Regarding the boundary changes, we know that Moulmein is being divided up and it will join different GRCs. For me of course there is a sense of disappointment because I have been with the residents for so many years already and I’ve become very fond of them and I will miss them dearly.”

related: Chairman of EBRC should publish minutes of deliberations

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Lui Tuck Yew: From Extreme Concern to Disappointment Following Moulmein-Kallang Carve-Up
Poor Lui Tuck Yew.

Just earlier this month, he was “extremely worried” following the worst-ever train breakdown in history that saw much public anger directed at the SMRT and the LTA.

This, especially amongst the 250,000 commuters whose travel was disrupted.

Now, Lui has gotten emotional again after news broke about the carving up of Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

related:
Tuck Yew, Yaacob: With Moulmein-Kallang Gone, Where are They Going Now?
Changes to Boundaries of Polling Districts Within 8 GRCS
Changes to EBRC! New GRCs and SMCs Carved Out, 16.7 Percent of Voters Affected
Oppo-Held GRCs & SMCs Safe Poor Yee Jenn Jong Says Goodbye to Joo Chiat SMC
Is this Unknown the PAP’s Joan of Arc in a Lee Kuan Yew-less Tanjong Pagar GRC?
A Kid on the Way and an SMC to Contest: Can the Tin Lady Win the Best of Both Worlds?
So Long, Maverick! Inderjit Singh Calls It Quits in Ang Mo Kio GRC
“Temple Lam” Safe, After the Redrawing of Sengkang West SMC Boundaries?


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Internal rifts surface ahead of General Election

sense of disappointment”, this is what Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew lamented on his Secretary General, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s decision today to dissolve his Moulmein-Kallang GRC. Singaporeans are however not surprised given the number of public transport breakdowns hit record high under Lui Tuck Yew’s watch while discontentment against public transport rages on.

On the very same day, PAP MP for Ang Mo Kio, Inderjit Singh announced his resignation from the PAP without giving any explanation – a suspicious move very unusual for the ruling PAP which is known for its much-trumpeted “succession planning”. PAP MP Inderjit Singh even chose to use Facebook as his preferred resignation announcement, a far cry from the official PAP stance of using its controlled-media machinery, the Singapore Press Holdings.

related: More than 100,000 new citizens added in GE2015

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Inderjit 'not quitting PAP, will help campaign'

Inderjit Singh speaking at a rally at Yio Chu Kang stadium in 2006.PHOTO: ST FILE

Veteran MP Inderjit Singh, who announced last week that he will retire from politics at the next general election, said yesterday he remains a People's Action Party (PAP) member and will help Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to campaign during the elections.

His latest remarks on his Facebook page came amid social media chatter and online reports that Mr Singh, 55 - one of six MPs for Ang Mo Kio GRC, which is helmed by Mr Lee - had quit the ruling party.

He dismissed the talk, saying he had asked Mr Lee way back in January 2013 if he could step down.

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GREAT RESPECT FOR 'PEOPLE'S MP'

DR NG ENG HEN, PAP organising secretary and Defence Minister, when asked about earlier comments he made about Mr Singh's decision to announce his retirement online

  • When I read that Inderjit was retiring, two thoughts came into my mind. First, that at 55, he had many more years to contribute and was big-hearted to retire now, so that younger candidates could stand in his place.
  • I have great respect for Inderjit and learnt from his many good speeches in Parliament. He has a heart for the daily struggles of Singaporeans and could put it across in heartfelt and effective ways. When he spoke, ministers took note and followed up. He was a people's MP.
  • Second, I thought we should do better than just Facebook postings for retiring MPs. After many years of service, the party should try to find a more dignified and deliberate way to announce their retirement. So when we announce new candidates, whenever possible, we will do it together with their retiring MPs that they are taking over. I hope this approach will do justice to the many years of contribution that MPs like Inderjit have given to serve their residents.

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related:
Straits Times: Inderjit 'not quitting PAP, will help campaign'
TODAYonline: No rift with PAP leadership, says Inderjit
AsiaOne: MP Inderjit Singh says he is still PAP member
Straits Times: Veteran MP Inderjit Singh dismisses online chatter that he has quit PAP
Channel News Asia: Retiring MP Inderjit Singh takes issue with online article
Online Citizen: Ng Eng Hen chides Inderjit Singh – PAP in-fighting before elections?

Did Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen just take a dig at retiring MP Inderjit Singh?

Defence Minister and People’s Action Party (PAP) Organising Secretary Ng Eng Hen told the media yesterday (July 27) that the party decided to deploy its new faces in their constituencies as early as possible, so that the electorate have time to assess the candidates for themselves.

Ng added that the PAP introduced their candidates early because they think it is “a better type of politics that the PAP wants for Singapore”.

But he couldn’t resist a jibe at someone when he elaborated about new candidates and succession planning:
“We want to handle the retirement of our MPs more smoothly and I would prefer a more deliberate and a dignified manner. You can post your retirement on Facebook (laughs), but I think as an MP who has served 15, 20, even 30 years – that’s not the best way to do it"
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Minister Ng Eng Hen mock AMK PAP MP Inderjit Singh

In his interview with the government-controlled media Channel News Asia, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen mock Ang Mo Kio (AMK) GRC PAP MP Inderjit Singh for announcing his retirement on Facebook instead of using the party’s proper channel:
“You can post your retirement on Facebook, but I think as an MP who has served 15, 20, even 30 years – that’s not the best way to do it”
PAP MP Inderjit Singh publicised his retirement on his Facebook page on the very same day the new electoral boundaries were introduced last Friday (July 24). PAP MP Inderjit has served in Ang Mo Kio GRC for the nearly 20 years since 1996. He has recently been exceptionally vocal against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and took media highlights two years ago for criticising his ruling party’s decision to increase the Singapore population to 6.9 million.

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Inderjit Singh bids goodbye to Ang Mo Kio GRC

People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) says he is “stepping down at the coming GE.”

“I did my best to serve and this would not have been possible without my team, the grassroots leaders and branch activists, at Kebun Baru who have become my extended family,” the four-term MP said.

He made the announcement on his Facebook page on Friday, the same day the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee released its report of the boundary changes for the constituencies in the upcoming elections.

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Outspoken PAP MP Inderjit Singh first to announce his retirement
One almost feels like he couldn't wait to be the first to announce that he was stepping down

Outspoken PAP MP Inderjit Singh told his friends and residents on Facebook that he will be stepping down at the coming GE.

Singh, who has served in Ang Mo Kio GRC for four terms since 1996, is the MP for Kebun Bahru.

Besides thanking his grassroots leaders and branch activists, Singh urged his residents to continue to support this team, which will be helmed by his successor. 

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So Long, Maverick! Inderjit Singh Calls It Quits in Ang Mo Kio GRC

The maverick has left the building – Inderjit Singh, one of the most vocal MPs contesting under the PAP banner has resigned.

Mr Singh made the announcement on his Facebook page.

Without stating a reason for leaving, he thanked Kebun Bahru residents and urged them to support to continue to support the PAP team in Ang Mo Kio GRC.

related
Oppo Parties United in Condemnation of EBRC Formation Without Their Knowledge
Changes to Boundaries of Polling Districts Within 8 GRCS
EBRC Announced! New GRCs and SMCs Carved Out, 16.7 Percent of Voters Affected
Tuck Yew, Yaacob: With Moulmein-Kallang Gone, Where are The Ministers Going Now?
Oppo-Held GRCs & SMCs Safe, Poor Yee Jenn Jong Says Goodbye to Joo Chiat SMC
Is this Unknown the PAP’s Joan of Arc in a Lee Kuan Yew-less Tanjong Pagar GRC?
A Kid on the Way & an SMC to Contest: Can the Tin Lady Win the Best of Both Worlds?
Maverick Singh Makes Second Plea for Minimum Wage Scheme in 2 Years


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Tin Pei Ling expecting first child, 'excited' about MacPherson SMC
MP Tin Pei Ling meeting (far right) meeting residents. Ms Tin said there has been no indication she would not be fielded. Photo: Tin Pei Ling

Having gone through a baptism of fire in her first election, Member of Parliament (MP) Tin Pei Ling said she is ready to defend her MacPherson ward, which was one of three newly created single seats for the next polls.

Although she is two weeks from reaching full term in her pregnancy, Ms Tin, 31, said there has been “no indication” she would not be fielded, adding that she would like to continue serving her constituents and her team is “quite excited” about the ward becoming a Single Member Constituency (SMC).

“I do anticipate there will be a contest and we will just have to be prepared. For us, we have been working on the ground since Day One all these years,” she said, adding that opposition parties, such as the National Solidarity Party and Singaporeans First, have been sighted in her ward in the last couple of months.

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MacPherson SMC is now a thing: It looks like PAP’s Tin Pei Ling has no choice but contest on her own
It is either a vote of confidence or a move of abandonment by her party

More than four years after a petition calling for PAP’s Tin Pei Ling to contest in a Single-Member Constituency (SMC) based on her own merit gained traction online ahead of the General Election 2011, MacPherson SMC is now officially a thing before the next GE many are predicting will happen in September 2015.

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has recommended the redrawing of electoral boundaries for the upcoming election that will see MacPherson SMC being carved out of Marine Parade GRC. There are an estimated 28,481 voters there.

Tin, an MP for Marine Parade who has been in charge of MacPherson ward since after GE2011, is now expected to run there — on her own.

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A Kid on the Way and an SMC to Contest: Can the Tin Lady Win the Best of Both Worlds?
It’s never wise to mix business and family

But Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling might have to do just that!

Already 9 months into her pregnancy, Ms Tin has been seen walking the ground and going on house visits in MacPherson, her “di pan” (territory).

Now with MacPherson carved out from Marine Parade as an SMC on its own, can Ms Tin step up and win the hearts and crosses of voters?

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Winners and Losers: Who won and who lost after the redrawing of the electoral boundaries
Roughly 24 hours on, we reckon most people are done reeling over the changes made in the fresh-off-the-press electoral boundaries report released on Friday

We now pick out the people we think have emerged as winners and the losers in the recently-concluded high-level art session:

The Winners
  • 1. Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim
  • 2. Lina Chiam and the Singapore’s People Party (SPP)
  • 3. Tin Pei Ling
  • 4. Ong Ye Kung
The Losers
  • 1. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew
  • 2. NCMP Yee Jenn Jong
  • 3. The dude taking over Inderjit Singh
  • 4. Tin Pei Ling’s husband
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The Battle Lines Already Drawn

There you go, that was our preliminary examination on the changes made in the electoral map by the Electoral Boundaries report of the EBRC.

More accurate deductions and examinations will only be possible later on, with more political parties reacting and signaling their intentions and with more information made available to the public.


1. Joo Chiat SMC dissolution
2. MacPherson SMC revival
3. Moulmein-Kallang GRC dissolution
4. Jalan Besar GRC revival + Whampoa SMC dissolution
5. Fengshan SMC

related: 3 Opposition Parties That Made Mistakes In The Last 4 Years

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GE 2015 – How the winds may blow
With the Electoral Boundary Review Committee set up 2 months ago and with the increasing likelihood that the General Elections might be called in September 2015, I figured that it would be useful to take a look at the current electoral boundaries and the performance of the PAP in the 2011 elections

Vote Swings - When we compare the 2006 elections and the 2011 elections, there was a vote swing of 6.46% against the PAP.  Of course, this comparison is not very effective as the number of contested seats in the 2006 and in 2011 differed greatly.

Popular vote in 2006:  747,860 (66.6%) based on 47 constituencies contested and 37 seats returned unopposed. Popular vote in 2011: 1,212,154 (60.14%) based on 82 seats contested and 5 seats (Tanjong Pagar GRC) returned unopposed.

The 6.46% swing masks the larger story of many constituencies that had not been contested for 2 to 4 general elections.  It is, therefore, difficult to work out a clear pattern of the nature of the swing.

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Analysis of new boundary map drawn up by EBRC

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) released its report to the public yesterday (24 Jul).

EBRC recommended the adoption of 29 electoral divisions, comprising 13 Single Member Constituencies and 16 Group Representation Constituencies, with a total of 89 Members of Parliament (MPs) to be returned. This compares to 12 SMCs and 15 GRCs in the 2011 general election (GE).

In a Facebook post yesterday, PM Lee said that there are now more 4-member GRCs (6 instead of the previous 2) and fewer 5-member GRCs (8 instead of 11) in the forthcoming GE.

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5 implications of the new Singapore electoral boundaries to ponder this weekend
Now that we’ve shown you what the key changes are in our electoral boundaries, as well as told you a bit more about the constituencies that we’re bidding farewell to in the next general election (GE), it’s now time to dwell a bit on what all this means

Some of the changes, as we predicted rightly, did happen; they were expected.

The folks on the electoral boundaries review committee did surprise us with how they politely left the opposition-held wards intact, though — all the redrawing occurred in ruling-party-held constituencies.

1) Changes in the hotly-contested East:
2) Dissolving Moulmein-Kallang
3) One of the two new GRCs, Marsiling-Yew Tee
4) The creation of the new SMC, Bukit Batok, is another move in the PAP’s favour
5) Opposition-held constituencies - Punggol East, Aljunied & Hougang - remain untouched

related:
MacPherson SMC is now a thing: It looks like PAP’s TPL has to contest on her own
5 questions you’ll have after seeing the Electoral Boundaries Report
WP’s Yee Jenn Jong is a sad, sad man now that his Joo Chiat SMC is no more
The changes in the newly-drawn electoral boundaries, summarised in one GIF


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1 IN 5 VOTERS "MOVED": STATISTICALLY CAN'T LOSE?
1 in 5 voters in a new constituency

According to the news report “New electoral boundaries announced: 13 SMCs, 16 GRCs, one in five voters will see shift” (Jul 24) – “One in five voters, or 19 per cent of voters, will find themselves in a new constituency.

An earlier version of this story said one in six voters will be affected by the boundary changes. It should be one in five. The earlier calculation excluded voters in Moulmein-Kallang GRC who will move to the renamed Jalan Besar GRC”.

“Statistically” very hard to lose? When you can “move” one in five voters at will – arguably, it may be almost “statistically” very hard to lose.

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8 Neighbourhoods In Singapore That Suffer From A Constituency Identity Crisis Every Election
EBRC has made these residents very confused

The EBRC consists of 5 civil servants appointed by the Prime Minister, and is helmed by the secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office. The current secretary is 58-year-old Tan Kee Yong.

The boundaries are redrawn based on Prime Minister’s suggestions. This year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has suggested for smaller Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and at least 12 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), and the population shift of each respective constituency.

While we do not doubt the good intentions of the EBRC in drawing electoral boundaries in the fairest non-political manner possible, this periodic redrawing sometimes results in an identity crisis for voters in some constituencies.
  • 1. Serangoon
  • 2. Canberra
  • 3. Joo Chiat
  • 4.  Buona Vista
  • 5.  Nee Soon South
  • 6. Moulmein
  • 7. Tampines North
  • 8. MacPherson
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Same blocks, different wards in Kaki Bukit

Elections are not just about political parties. They are also about people and residents like Fatty Teo. His name is real, he said, as is his little headache.

You see, in the 30 years that Mr Teo, 70, has lived at Block 547, Bedok North Street 3, he has found himself a resident of four different constituencies.

It was Eunos GRC in 1988. Then, it became East Coast GRC in 1997, before the block was carved into the Marine Parade GRC in 2006. And before General Election 2011, Mr Teo learnt he was under the Aljunied GRC.
"When elections come this time around, I don't know which constituency I will come under,"
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The boundary between the Pappie and the Oppie
Overheard in a coffeeshop today after the electoral boundary changes were announced

Pappie (admiringly): Wah liao. So fast! Two months and boundaries come out liao. Shows how efficient this Government is. Maybe National Day holiday tag on one more day and make it five-day holiday.

Oppie (scathing): Ya lah. As usual, give so little time to opposition… Now they got to kelang kabut because the boundaries chopped up. Eh, that poor Yee Jenn Jong. He walked so much in Joo Chiat and now Joo Chiat gone liao.

Pappie (bemused): Eh, if really want to fool around, that committee can also dissolve Potong Pasir. After all, it belongs to PAP now. No problem to let it merge into Bishan-Toa Payoh or something. Just 17,000 people. You don’t hear Lina Chiam complaining right? That Yee guy can just go over to MacPherson, new ward and not far away from Joo Chiat…

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Opposition parties studying Electoral Boundaries Review Committee's Report

Opposition parties are studying the newly released report from the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC). The report carves Singapore into 29 electoral divisions, made of 13 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and 16 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).
  • WORKERS' PARTY  - "We will field the best candidates we can find to give Singaporeans a choice at the upcoming General Election,"
  • SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE - "extremely disappointed" that Joo Chiat and Whampoa SMCs are dissolved.  "We feel the people in Joo Chiat and Whampoa should be given another chance to choose an MP they want,"
  • SINGAPORE PEOPLE'S PARTY - "Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss made clear her intentions to run in Mountbatten SMC again, where she has been conducting walkabouts of late"
  • DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY - "are not as dramatic and extensive as we had expected". "The absorption of Joo Chiat and Whampoa SMCs appear to be due to them being hotly contested in 2011, but Potong Pasir that PAP won by a sliver remains untouched," 
  • SINGAPOREANS FIRST - "party's plan to contest in Tampines and Marine Parade GRCs will be affected by the boundary changes, due to an overlap in the areas the opposition parties have expressed interest in"
  • PEOPLE'S POWER PARTY - "They are just like playing 'masak masak' (cooking games). Don't they know for each of these stupid changes they made, the Town Councils will have to waste a lot of money and resources just to change signage?"
  • REFORM PARTY - "It does not matter what colour the cat is as long as it catches mice. What we need is for the Opposition to pledge to work together in Parliament once they are elected to form an effective block to the PAP,"
  • SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC PARTY - "may or may not release a statement and merely issued a call for volunteers on Facebook"
  • "NATIONAL SOLIDARITY PARTY - would give details on its response to the EBRC report on Saturday evening"
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Opposition politicians weigh their options
Mrs Jeannette Chong- Aruldoss (left) of the Singapore People's Party announced on her Facebook page her intention to run in Mountbatten again. The Workers' Party's Mr Yee Jenn Jong says he is disappointed as he has been visiting Joo Chiat residents every week for the last four years. Joo Chiat has been absorbed by Marine Parade GRC.ST FILE PHOTO ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Since their election defeat in 2011, opposition politicians Yee Jenn Jong and Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss have continued to walk the ground in constituencies they contested, hoping for another bite at the cherry.

Only one of them will get their wish after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee released its report yesterday - widely anticipated by opposition parties so they can firm up their election plans.

While the Mountbatten single-seat ward where Mrs Chong-Aruldoss took 41.4 per cent of the votes remains on the electoral map, Joo Chiat - which Mr Yee lost by just 388 votes - has been absorbed by Marine Parade GRC.

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Opposition parties cry foul over changes, say they were expected
Mr Yee Jenn Jong. TODAY file photo

Some Opposition parties yesterday (July 24) expressed their disappointment with the changes to the boundaries of electoral constituencies, citing in particular the dissolution of Joo Chiat SMC and Moulmein-Kallang GRC, as well as the downsizing of East Coast GRC.

But The Workers’ Party (WP) was the most aggrieved, having put up a strong showing in Joo Chiat in the 2011 General Election. Its candidate, Mr Yee Jenn Jong, lost the contest by a narrow margin of 2.04 per cent to Mr Charles Chong from the People’s Action Party (PAP)

Mr Yee, who is currently a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (MP), told TODAY he was “very disappointed” with the scrapping of Joo Chiat SMC.

related:
PAP MPs say changes are needed to their plans
Calibre of candidates matters more than boundary changes, say residents
Tin Pei Ling expecting first child, 'excited' about MacPherson SMC
Lui Tuck Yew expresses ‘disappointment’ at Moulmein-Kallang GRC’s dissolution


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Workers’ Party’s Yee Jenn Jong is a sad, sad man now that his Joo Chiat SMC is no more

Workers’ Party’s Yee Jenn Jong, a Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP), has expressed his sadness following news that Joo Chiat SMC is no more.

This after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has recommended the redrawing of electoral boundaries for the upcoming election that will see Marine Parade GRC absorb Joo Chiat SMC and spitting out MacPherson SMC.

Yee contested in the Joo Chiat Single Member Constituency (Joo Chiat SMC) against Charles Chong from the People’s Action Party in 2011, his first foray into parliamentary politics. He lost marginally with 48.99% of the votes.

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A Vote for Change

– TOC: New electoral boundaries breaking down the numbers,a need for transparency
– Rayner’s Thoughts: Let’s start a conversation about Singapore’s electoral system
– Spore General Elections 2016: Spore General Election 2015: Electoral Boundaries
– Yoursfaithfullysg: Opposition parties whine over changes, say they were expected.
– Reflections on SG: Redrawing Electoral Boundaries: The Singapore Experience
– Everything Also Complain: EBRC not transparent about boundary changes
– Zhun Bo, Singapore?!: Did the PAPpies goof it up with the new boundaries?
– Kirsten Han: The electoral system will never be an election issue
– Dewdrop Notes 露语: Between The Lines Of GE2015
– Singapore National Service: PAP shows desperation by redrawing electoral lines
– Singapore Lighthouse: Singapore Election 2015 Vocabulary – Gerrymandering
– SG Hard Truth: GE 2015: Ah Beng Asked Bookie Why PM Play 5-4-1 Game
– 否极泰来 Piji Tailai: EBRC objectives: Stop “Out of Aljunied”, Stop SDP Breakthrough
– Singapore Notes: Battle Enjoined
– The Heart Truths: How Should You Vote at the Next Singapore General Election 2015
– Blogging for Myself: GE: What LKY dividend?
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Victor Lye: junior minister material?
– Blinkymummy: TPL & Her Women-Demeaning Rhetoric
– Seksi Matashutyrmouf : Four elections
– My Singapore News: Marine Parade the first GRC likely to go to the opposition
– A collection of tots: A distinct possiblity to look foward to: PAP fallign down in the East
– 2econdsight: Opposition Unity: A Thought Experiment
– Investment Stab: Singapore GE effect on STI
– TR Emeritus: An appeal to fellow taxi drivers this coming GE
– The Middle Ground: Pre-GE with some atas coffee
– Popspoken: Five Burning Questions for the Upcoming Singapore General Elections

– Inconvenient Questions: EBRC: Does trust override the need for transparency?
– Yahoo! SG: Heartlanders talk politics
– All Sg Stuff: S’pore Elected Politicians are Just Like My Useless Uncaring Boyfriend
– Shih Tung: Kremlinology Spore-style: Reading tea-leaves of polling district changes
– Spore GE 2016: Spore GE2015: The Real Truth about Gerrymandering
– All Spore Stuff: Both the WP & PAP’s Victor Lye Incapable of Improving my Welfare
– Mothership: Pritam Singh article on gerrymandering, ends post with a cheeky wink


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Full coverage:
AsiaOne: EBRC 2015: Which will be the 'hot' seats in the coming
Straits Times: Opposition politicians weigh their options
Straits Times: Yaacob welcomes return of Jalan Besar GRC
Straits Times: 16 GRCs, 13 single seats to pick 89 MPs in coming GE
Straits Times: News analysis: Sober report, with a few puzzles
TODAYonline: GE battle lines drawn
TODAYonline: 'More detailed explanation needed to fend off gerrymandering claims'
TODAYonline: A look at dropped, reintroduced SMCs and GRCs
Online Citizen: Is Lui also leaving politics?
Online Citizen: Chairman of EBRC should publish minutes of deliberations
Channel News Asia: Electoral boundaries drawn for next General Election
Straits Times: Opposition politicians weigh their options after release of electoral
TODAYonline: PAP MPs say changes are needed to their plans
Channel News Asia: EBRC: Two new GRCs, but Moulmein-Kallang carved up
TODAYonline: Opposition parties cry foul over changes, say they were expected
Channel News Asia: EBRC: 3 SMCs reintroduced, but Joo Chiat, Whampoa dissolved
TODAYonline: Support teams that best represent voters' interest: PM Lee
TODAYonline: Calibre of candidates matter more than boundary changes say residents

Straits Times: DPM Teo: New boundaries keep playing field level
AsiaOne: New SMCs won't see equally intense fights
AsiaOne: PAP's Sitoh happy Potong Pasir has been left intact
Channel News Asia: Boundary changes affect incumbent MPs the most: DPM Teo
TODAYonline: NSP 'disappointed' with electoral boundaries report
Channel News Asia: NSP raises issues with 'disappointing' EBRC report
AsiaOne: Electoral boundaries report 2015: Which will be the 'hot' seats in the coming
AsiaOne: Analysts: Why keep six-member GRCs?
AsiaOne: 16 GRCs, 13 single seats to pick 89 MPs in coming GE
Straits Times: Boundary changes are fair says DPM Teo: Aljunied was not affected
AsiaOne: Opposition politicians weigh their options
AsiaOne: East to see keenest fights, say observers
AsiaOne: No changes to areas held by WP
AsiaOne: More 4-MP GRCs, Moulmein-Kallang GRC disappears
AsiaOne: Sober report, with a few puzzles
Channel News Asia: More detailed explanation to fend off gerrymandering claims
Channel News Asia: Opposition parties cry foul over changes to electoral boundaries

EBRC 2015 Report: What's next

There will be 89 Members of Parliament after Singapore's next General Election (GE) is over, two more than the current batch of 87. PHOTO: SPH

THERE will be 89 Members of Parliament after Singapore's next General Election (GE) is over, two more than the current batch of 87.

This after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) issued its much-awaited report on Friday, just 11 days after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the committee was formed in May.

The five-member committee recommended that Singapore be divided into 29 divisions, comprising 13 single member constituencies (SMCs) and 16 group representation constituencies (GRCs). This is higher than the 12 single wards and 15 GRCs today.


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related:
EBRC 2015 Report: What's next
EBRC 2015 Report: Battle's Begun
EBRC Report 2015: Staking Claims
EBRC 2015 Report: Who's Where
Countdown to the GE begins
Snap General Elections in 2015?
Fourth generation political leadership taking shape
Order of Succession And Baton Passing
Snap General Elections in 2014/2015?
Snap General Election in Sep 2015?