From white cats to solo candidates, here are the big winners & unfortunate ones of GE2020

It only comes once every five years.

Sulaiman Daud | July 15, 2020, 09:54 PM

The shock of GE2020 has had time to settle in, and you might have read a few pieces attempting to explain why the People's Action Party (PAP) lost ground with the voters, or how the Workers' Party (WP) unexpectedly won Sengkang GRC.

This is not one of those pieces. No, this is a look at the real winners and losers of GE2020, the ones that flew under the radar while all our attention was focused elsewhere.


Tan Cheng Bock's cat

On Polling Day, CNA sent reporter Gwyneth Teo to the house of Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) leader Tan Cheng Bock.

While waiting for some activity, a cute white cat popped into view.

It then slipped through the gate and into the grounds of Tan's house.

Speculation raged online, with some speculating that it could be a furry feline spy from the opposing political party.

However, Tan later revealed that the cat belonged to his neighbour, and is named Charlie.

View this post on Instagram

Gracegraceee sent me old photos of my neighbour’s cat that we named Charlie. I will find out his real name when I’m free. It’s Charlie for now. Photo taken in 2017 by me.

A post shared by Tan Cheng Bock (@tanchengbock) on

Tin Pei Ling

The Member of Parliament-elect for MacPherson SMC recorded her third general election victory, and her second in the constituency.

Having scored 65.6 per cent of the vote in a three-cornered fight in 2015, Tin managed to increase her vote share to 71.74 per cent in a straight contest against Goh Meng Seng of the People's Power Party.

Tin was in fact one of the few PAP candidates to record above 70 per cent in GE2020, with the others including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's team in Ang Mo Kio GRC, Senior Minister Tharman in Jurong GRC, Lim Biow Chuan in Mountbatten SMC and Melvin Yong in Radin Mas SMC.

She is one of the only two PAP candidates who improved her vote share from 2015, and the only candidate who improved her vote share by more than 5 per cent.

Not bad for a candidate who had come under heavy criticism during her first campaign in 2011.

Charles Yeo

Charles Yeo of the Reform Party made quite an impression during the party's constituency broadcast speech for Ang Mo Kio.

With three members of the team unavailable, Yeo and Noraini Yunus had to deliver the speeches by themselves.

Yeo had some difficulty with the Mandarin speech, as teammate Soh Guan Soon was initially slated to deliver it. This resulted in some criticism, and Yeo became a figure of fun online.

However, he later attended a Lianhe Zaobao interview and explained the circumstances, turning public opinion around with his candour and honesty.

He won praise from none other than Ho Ching, the wife of his opponent in Ang Mo Kio.

And then won even more admirers by rejecting free gear from Razer boss Tan Min-Liang.

Fancam makers

Another man who shot to prominence during GE2020 was Jamus Lim of the Workers' Party.

In a televised debate with seasoned verbal jousters Vivian Balakrishnan and Chee Soon Juan, Lim stole the show, and uttered a catchphrase destined to be remembered in Singapore's election history.

This kicked off a wave of admiration, including Twitter, who took to Lim like a duck takes to water.

They expressed their enthusiastic support in the traditional manner, which meant fancams.

Lots of fancams.

Safe to say, these talented fancam makers had fun.

Unfortunate ones

But as in every campaign there are winners, and those who lost out.

CNA's analysts

Elections in Singapore traditionally have a panel of media personalities and experts to give commentary as the results come in, much like in football.

CNA invited Assoc. Prof Eugene Tan from SMU's School of Law and Mustafa Izzuddin, lecturer at NUS's University Scholars' Programme, to serve as commentators.

The long night was made even longer after the Elections Department announced a two-hour extension to the voting time, from 8:00pm until 10:00pm.

To give you an idea of the night they had, the special report started at 10:00pm, and the replay video available on YouTube is seven hours long. 

The CNA had a second pair of anchors to take over when the show went on for too long.

But poor Tan and Mustafa have to keep trying to come up with a hot take after seven hours of late night/early morning non stop observations and analysis.

HWZ Forum bet

Wagers are serious business.

And if you're a man, the most serious thing you can put up on the chopping block is your masculine appendage.

That's exactly what one HardwareZone Forum user did when he bet that the PAP would not lose a single GRC in the election.

The other users did not forget this when the news came in that the Workers' Party had won not only Aljunied, but also Sengkang GRC.

The user had asked for a ban if he did not "pay up." So, the moderators obliged. Because a bet on the Internet is serious business.

One man takes on five

Nomination Day usually throws up some surprises, and this year was no different.

Perennial would-be candidate Shirwin Eu showed up, intending to contest Marine Parade GRC by his lonesome, despite the GRC requiring a team of five.

Not surprisingly, Eu was not allowed to stand in the election.

Still, you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don't take.

Non-political people in hawker centres

If you're a politically-inclined person, election season is great fun. Ministers and politicians step up their walkabouts, trying to meet as many voters as they can before the polls.

But if you're not really interested in politics, the stream of politicians, their entourages, and the media scrum following in their wake may get a tad annoying, especially if you're just trying to have lunch.

As every interaction is out in public, you might wind up on the front page of a newspaper too.

However, that's all over now. Until 2025.

Top image from Tin Pei Ling's Facebook page and Jason Fan.