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.

Belmont Lay| July 24, 03:12 PM

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.

However, the stage for the secession of MacPherson SMC from its parent GRC seems to have been set barely a year ago.

For those with elephant memories: Exactly eleven months ago, on Aug. 24, 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong singled out and threw his weight behind Tin by praising her on his Facebook page for no apparent reason.

This move was read by some to either be a vote of confidence in her ability to stand on her own two feet...

... or a move of abandonment, as she may be seen as a liability to her running mates if she contested again in Marine Parade GRC, having started her political career with negative mileage and later having her image subsequently rehabilitated in the media.

However, Tin standing in an SMC might be bait: If it attracts numerous opposition candidates thinking they stand a good chance against her, the contest for MacPherson could easily devolve into a multi-cornered fight that will still see the PAP candidate victorious, thanks to party recognition.

Plus, her presence and work in the MacPherson ward over the last four years must also count for something.


What does this mean for Marine Parade GRC, though?

The GRC has been re-jigged, but remains a five-member constituency led by heavyweight Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, whom we judge to have a very long coattail.

Marine Parade absorbed Joo Chiat SMC, a constituency that almost fell to the Workers' Party previously, at the expense of MacPherson.


Top photo via New Nation


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