Former Opposition MP of 27 years Chiam See Tong announced he will not contest in the coming General Elections during the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) press conference on Sunday (August 30). When asked if he will be retiring, the 80 year old said that “I’ve still got a long way to go.”
The ex-teacher and lawyer first contested in Cairnhill constituency in 1976 as an independent and has lost twice before finally winning his 1984 election in Potong Pasir SMC against Mah Bow Tan, who has also recently retired. Chiam See Tong continued to win Potong Pasir SMC for the next 27 years before losing in his GRC bid at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in 2011.
More notably, Chiam See Tong held his Meet-the-People session with make-shift tables and chairs at a void deck for 27 years because the ruling party government refuse to give him an office. The ruling PAP government has also denied his Potong Pasir residents from upgrading to punish the voters for stubbornly voting for the Opposition.
His wife Lina Chiam lost by a narrow margin of 114 votes in Potong Pasir SMC in 2011, but managed to secure the NCMP position. Lina Chiam will contest her last election in the coming General Election, hoping to wrestle Potong Pasir SMC from the ruling PAP party.