GE2020: Charles Chong, Goh Chok Tong, Khaw Boon Wan, & 17 other PAP MPs are retiring

Making way for newer candidates.

Zhangxin Zheng | June 27, 2020, 12:05 PM

The People's Action Party (PAP) unveiled its election manifesto on the morning of June 27.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also the party's secretary-general, announced the retirement of another veteran PAP member, 67-year-old Charles Chong.

Earlier in the week, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan have already announced stepping down this election.

Here's a really emotional moment for Khaw last night:

Seven-time MP Charles Chong retires

Chong, whose retirement was announced at the launch of the PAP election manifesto, was a seven-time Member of Parliament (MP) and the Deputy Speaker.

He is the joint third longest-serving MP after PM Lee and ESM Goh.

In the last election, Chong was fielded as a PAP candidate in Punggol East SMC and he managed to wrest control of Punggol East SMC from Lee, with 51.76 per cent of the votes, against Lee's 48.24 per cent.

Lee said that while Chong has probably "experienced the narrowest winning margins in elections" but that does not mean he is a weak MP but because he was sent to tough fights.

Chong is a "strong candidate who will fight hard and fight smart" and has delivered every time, Lee added.

20 PAP MPs retiring

Lee also mentioned that a total of 20 PAP MPs are retiring this election.

Three PAP veterans have made known that they are retiring so far..

That leaves 17 MPs yet to announce their retirement.

This number is actually less than the speculated number of retiring PAP MPs circulating on social media, which places the number around 21 to 27 retiring MPs.

Some of the other MPs that might be stepping down include Lim Swee Say, Lee Bee Wah, Teo Ho Pin, Lim Hng Kiang, Teo Ser Luck, and Seah Kian Peng, just to name a few.

Lee said that these MPs are retiring to make way for party renewal and is a display of putting the interest of party and nation first.

Lee said:

"I do not have time to thank all the retiring MPs one by one today.

Each one has served Singapore and the Party loyally.

I have no doubt that if they were to contest the coming GE, they would put up a strong showing. But they have agreed to step down, because they understand the need for self-renewal, and have put the party and nation before self.

After the GE, we will create the occasion to properly express our deep appreciation to them"

Top image via Charles Chong's, Goh Chok Tong's, Khaw Boon Wan's Facebook