Residents of Punggol East have spoken. Charles Chong has wrested Punggol East from the Workers’ Party with 16957 votes (51.76%).
We summarise everything you need to know about the fight for Punggol East:
Name: Charles Chong
Party: People’s Action Party
Occupation: Deputy Speaker of Parliament
Number of terms in Parliament: 7th term (was previously MP in Joo Chiat SMC)
Vote share: 16957 votes (51.76%)
Chong plans for Punggol East to rejoin Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council. As soon as the accounts are put in order, Chong would get the Ministry of National Development to restore grants so that PAP can improve maintenance and cleanliness in the estate.
Chong wants to get independent auditors to dig into the accounts and find out Punggol East’s exact financial position.
What does this mean?
Chong will probably remain a PAP backbencher and it’s very likely that he will reopen Punggol East’s accounts. Lee Lilian’s departure will probably erode the Workers’ Party’s power in Parliament, and if Chong manages to find serious faults in Punggol East, you can be sure him and his party will use them in an all out attack at the opposition.
Chong’s win will also mean that the PAP is making a comeback – wresting an opposition-held ward is definitely a win for the ruling party, given how Chong was described as part of the PAP suicide squad before the election.
Notable things he said during GE2015:
On returning to what would be home ground (Chong was MP in Punggol Central in 2001):
“Am I on a suicide mission this time? I don’t have bombs strapped to my chest.” – Sep 1
On the town council issue:
“The residents will need to ask themselves if they are happy subsidising Hougang and Aljunied.” – in an interview with the Straits Times, Sep 1
“It is not in the interest of our residents to (be under) a town council that is embroiled in a dispute with the Ministry of National Development over Government grants, or that is in dispute with its auditors over the accuracy of its financial statements, or is in a dispute with its former managing agent over the payment of fees … the list goes on.” – Sep 3
“I would have brought a piece of paper to show you tonight but I don’t think that kind of theatrics is necessary or constructive.” – Sep 8
“We need to find out the exact state of accounts and how the money was spent.” – Sep 8
Name: Lee Li Lian
Party: Workers’ Party
Occupation: Full-time MP
Vote share: 15609 votes (47.65%)
Lee promises that she will continue lobbying for better childcare and student care, like the Workers’ Party’s proposal that student care centres be set up in every primary school. She will continue lobbying for lower costs in child care and elderly care.
Notable things she said during GE2015:
On Charles Chong’s claims that Punggol East was at a surplus:
“It is not right to mislead the public and especially the residents of Punggol East with unsubstantiated data.” – Sep 5
On single parents:
“As parents, we are always concerned about the well being of our child. Therefore it is certainly a relief to hear Minister Tan Chuan Jin say that the ministry is considering harmonizing the benefits for single parents… As mentioned in my last COS speech on single parents, I find it ridiculous that we are even discussing this. Married or single, they are parents.” – Aug 2
“What the PAP is missing in this, is empathy – not just for the mother, but also for the child. A single mother requires more support, not less, to raise a healthy, financially and emotionally supported child.” – Sep 9