PM Lee: 'Major loss' of 3 office-holders in Sengkang GRC for 4G leaders, but PAP still has 'good mandate'

He said while the PAP does not have "a strong mandate", they still have "a good mandate".

Kayla Wong | July 11, 2020, 06:15 AM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a post-election press conference held on early Saturday morning, July 11, stated that the loss of three political office-holders is “a significant loss” for the People's Action Party's (PAP) 4G leadership.

PAP will fight to win back GRC

Saying that he was "naturally disappointed" that the PAP lost a GRC in Sengkang, Lee said the team -- made up of Ng Chee Meng, Lam Pin Min, Amrin Amin and Raymond Lye --  always knew it was going to be "a tough fight".

While the team “gave it their all”, they respect the decision made by Sengkang voters, he said.

He said: "It is, however, a major loss to my team, and to the 4G leaders, especially as Ng Chee Meng is the secretary-general of the NTUC."

Lee encouraged the team to continue serving the party and Singapore in different ways.

He added that the party will strive to win back all three opposition-held constituencies, which consist of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, in addition to Sengkang GRC.

Acknowledged voting difficulties

PM Lee acknowledged that due to the Covid-19 precautions, voting took a longer time, despite the additional polling stations set up.

Voting was also extended by two hours to give more people the chance to vote.

Nevertheless, PM Lee the voting arrangements could have been "done better". A thorough review will be done to see how it can be improved in the future.

PM Lee thanked voters for their patience, and thanked the public officers for their dedication and hard work in ensuring a safe election in difficult conditions.

Will hand Singapore over in good shape to the next team

PM Lee also said he has been preparing the 4G team to take over the reins for many years, and that he has not expected to meet "this overwhelming crisis in the last stretch of [his] premiership".

He said together with his older colleagues, like senior ministers Teo Chee Hean, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and K. Shanmugam, as well as 4G leaders, such as Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing, he will "see this crisis through".

He added that he is determined to hand an "intact" Singapore over to the next team.

Drop in vote share from GE2015

With 83 of 93 available seats won for the PAP, the party's supermajority hold in Parliament will continue uninterrupted since the country's independence.

But the 61.2 per cent of the vote won by the ruling party is a significant drop from its 69.9% share in the 2015 general election.

Good mandate for the PAP

In response to a question posed by the media, PM Lee said while the mandate the PAP has received is not as strong as what he had hoped for, it is still "a good mandate".

The popular vote of 61 per cent is "very respectable in these circumstances", and the PAP has won 83 seats, he said.

PM Lee said the PAP will make the most of it, and take the result as an endorsement of the its policies, adding that they will take this forward and work with Singapore to realise these plans and solve problems the country has.

Top image via CNA