SINGAPORE VOTES 2006
By Dominique Loh
Opposition leaders Low Thia Khiang (L) and Sylvia Lim (R) of Workers’ Party
SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party had the best showing among the opposition parties in the General Election 2006.
It garnered 16.34 percent of the valid votes – a sharp improvement over its 2.7 percent showing in the 2001 elections.
The party challenged three Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and four Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), but was only able to win its stronghold of Hougang, held by incumbent Low Thia Khiang.
Despite having lost all their contests, save one, the Workers’ Party teams were cheered by supporters when they turned up their gathering centre in Yio Chu Kang Stadium.
Its Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang retained Hougang with 62 percent of the valid votes, despite the PAP’s pledge of a $100 million upgrading plan for the constituency if its candidate Eric Low was elected.
The WP team that contested Aljunied GRC had the best showing among all the opposition parties, garnering 43.9 percent of the votes.
Ms Sylvia Lim, Workers’ Party candidate for Aljunied GRC, said: “I think the showing is a credible one, of course in your heart you sometimes harbour hopes that you might win but we know that winning a GRC is not an easy thing, so I think we are quite satisfied.”
During the hustings, the Aljunied team was at the centre of a controversy involving the non-submission of a minority candidate certificate form by one of its members, James Gomez.
He has been accused of discrediting the Elections Department by claiming that he had submitted the certificate but was caught on security camera putting the form away in his bag.
Over at East Coast, its team bowed out to the PAP slate – taking only 36 percent of the votes.
And its team for Ang Mo Kio GRC received only 33.3 percent of the votes – losing to the PAP team anchored by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Despite the losses, Mr Low Thia Khiang is keeping up a brave front.
He said: “For the Workers’ Party with the results and the election, even with 33 percent in Ang Mo Kio, it shows that we have a bright future and with the renewal process it’s carrying on, I believe we are on the right track.”
In other single seats, the Workers’ Party failed to win Joo Chiat – with its candidate losing to the PAP’s Chan Soo Sen with only 35 percent of the votes.
Its candidate Lian Chin Way secured only 34.6 percent of the votes in Nee Soon Central, losing to PAP’s Ong Ah Heng.
Its candidate for Nee Soon East, Dr Poh Lee Guan, also lost to the PAP’s candidate Ho Peng Kee – taking only 31.2 percent of the valid votes. – CNA/de/ls