DPM Teo: Result does not reflect sentiment towards PAP
SINGAPORE, May 27 — The outcome of the Hougang by-election is not a reflection of Singaporeans' sentiment towards the ruling party after the General Election last year, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after the results were announced - together with defeated People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Desmond Choo - Mr Teo pointed out that Hougang is a "very strong Workers' Party stronghold".
Reiterating that the outcome is "a reflection of the views of the Hougang voters", Mr Teo said: "The elections in Hougang are quite special. Hougang is not representative of the whole of Singapore necessarily. Each constituency is different. Hougang has its own characteristics. We did expect a very difficult fight."
Despite the loss, Mr Teo said that the party was "encouraged that more residents have seen and supported Desmond's vision of a new future".
Mr Choo, 34, said the results showed that there was "lots of work to be done". When asked if he expects to stand in Hougang again for the 2016 General Election, he would only say: "You'll definitely see me on May 28 starting work."
Mr Choo, who suffered a second electoral defeat in less than 13 months, said it was "always disappointing to lose an election but I think this time round we have seen progress".
He added: "We always expect to win, no matter which election we go, no matter how hard the fight is."
On the improvement in his showing, Mr Choo said while he was hoping for a better result, the outcome was "an affirmation that our work is moving in a correct direction".
After the results were announced, the PAP held a closed-door meeting at its Hougang branch office, where volunteers and supporters had gathered. PAP activists told Today later that Mr Choo and party leaders including Mr Teo and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, thanked the volunteers for their hard work and encouraged them to keep going.
PAP Hougang branch assistant secretary Lionel De Souza said: "Disappointment there will be … (but) we are going to carry on helping the residents. We may be down but we are not out."
Mr De Souza added that the programmes put in place since the GE last year helped to win over some voters. But he did not think that the by-election came too soon as the PAP was "always prepared". — TODAYonline