MP on electoral boundaries: Job remains the same whether SMC or GRC
MP Henry Kwek says business as usual even if there are new electoral boundaries
New electoral boundaries mean first-term Nee Soon GRC MP Henry Kwek is likely to contest in a single-member constituency for the coming election, but as far as he is concerned, it was business as usual yesterday.
The 43-year-old, along with grassroots leaders, spent the morning meeting residents at the Mayflower Market and Food Centre in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.
He told The Straits Times: "For us, the job remains the same, which is to serve our residents regardless of whether we are an SMC or GRC (group representation constituency)."
Over in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, first-term MP Sun Xueling, 40, finds herself in the same situation.
Her Punggol West ward has been carved out as a single seat, and yesterday, she continued her routine walkabout to meet residents.
While it is not clear who will contest in Kebun Baru or Punggol West this round, SMCs are typically seen as more contestable for candidates from opposition parties.
When asked if she is expecting fierce competition from opposition parties in what would be her second election, Ms Sun said: "I think historically, single wards have tended to be contested. So I am mentally prepared for that.
"But at the end of the day, I've been working the ground, engaging my residents consistently, and that isn't going to change."
Four out of 14 SMCs will be new ones, according to the report of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee made public last Friday.
These new SMCs have been carved out from larger GRCs.
They include Marymount out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Punggol West out of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Yio Chu Kang out of Ang Mo Kio GRC.
The carving out of Kebun Baru from the five-member Nee Soon GRC will take 22,413 voters with it, while Punggol West will have 25,440 voters.
If the People's Action Party (PAP) does not make changes in the line-up there, the two first-term MPs must battle solo.
Mr Kwek, an executive director of an investment, trading and management consulting company, said: "We are always prepared for all eventualities. It doesn't change the work.
"Over the last few years, I have been serving here and have built a deep bond with our residents. So I would love to continue to serve here with our team."
However, he said the final decision on who will be fielded lies with his party's central executive committee.
Kebun Baru, where two in five residents are Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors, has traditionally been a PAP stronghold.