Straits Times: Move to stand in Hougang pays off for Low

TOP OPPOSITION PERFORMERS
Low Thia Khiang (WP)

BUSINESSMAN Low Thia Khiang of the Workers’ Party got into Parliament on his second attempt yesterday when he beat PAP incumbent Tang Guan Seng in Hougang.

Mr Low, 35, polled 10,621 votes against 9,487 polled by Mr Tang, the Parliamentary Secretary (Education) who has represented the ward since 1988.

A graduate of the former Nanyang University, Mr Low contested unsuccessfully in the 1988 General Election when his WP team lost to the PAP in Tiong Bahru GRC.

He moved to Hougang this time, he said, because he was familiar with the area and because there were many Teochews like him living there.

Mr Low, a former Chinese language teacher at Pei Dao Secondary School, joined the WP in 1981 and is its organising secretary. Now a businessman in building construction, he is married with three children.

After his victory was announced at 12.53 am, he said: “This is the beginning of the next lap.

“This is a change which I think is important to the development of society.”

He was not prepared to make a statement about his programme, but said that his first task was to decide his stance towards the media, especially the Chinese television media.

During the campaign he complained of unfair treatment by the press and, although he agreed to be interviewed by The Straits Times, refused to allow a reporter and photographer accompany him on his rounds calling on residents.

He defeated Mr Tang, a former deputy chief editor of the Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, who entered politics in 1984 when he stood in Khe Bong, which no longer exists on the electoral boundaries map.

Mr Tang, 43, said last night: “Of course I am disappointed. I think I lost because the opposition candidate was a strong one. We have to do an in-depth study to look into the reasons. I was elected for three years. Now he’s the choice of the people.”

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