In her first walkabout since former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s demise, Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah said that her residents have strong connections with the ruling People’s Action Party. Despite having only winning the GRC through electoral walkovers, the Senior Minister of State also said that there are “strong bonds” in the constituency which will “stand the test of time”:

“…the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who was Tanjong Pagar’s longest-serving MP, has left behind a tremendous legacy, and the constituency’s other MPs must work hard to continue this strong connection with residents… There are strong bonds in Tanjong Pagar GRC which will stand the test of time”

Minister Indranee also said that the ground reception from her walkabout is “warm” and that Tanjong Pagar GRC residents are very supportive.

“Our sense on the ground is that people are warm. Many of them have fed back that issues which they have raised have been addressed and dealt with. They have been very encouraging and supportive.”

Ever since the Group Representative Constituency (GRC) system was introduced in 1988, Tanjong Pagar GRC has never gone through any electoral process because Opposition parties were mainly afraid of contesting the constituency against former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who was notorious for “fixing” his political opponents during his reign. During the last election in 2011, Tanjong Pagar GRC was a walkover again due to disqualification of the Opposition team through a late submission of legal documents.

Photo by Electoral Department
Photo by Electoral Department

Although former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died in March this year, the 5-person constituency has been managed by 4 MPs since 2011 due to Lee Kuan Yew’s poor state of health. Lee Kuan Yew’s area, Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru, has been mostly covered by Minister Indranee on top of her Tanglin-Cairnhill area. The next General Election is due by January 2017 but it seems the current Prime Minister, who is also the son of Lee Kuan Yew, will not call for a by-election as a loss of a constituency the size of Tanjong Pagar GRC will destabilize his regime and taint his father’s reputation he painstakingly built.

Many Opposition parties have expressed their interest in contesting for the constituency. Among them are the Singapore Democratic Party, Singaporean First Party, Reform Party and Democratic Progressive Party. Do you think Tanjong Pagar GRC will continue to be a PAP stronghold without Lee Kuan Yew?