Cheo Chai Chen

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Cheo.

Cheo Chai Chen (Chinese: 蒋才正; pinyin: Jiǎng Cáizhèng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chiúⁿ Châi-chèng) is a politician and businessman from Singapore. He served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Nee Soon Central from 1991 to 1997, when he was a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). Since 2006, he has been a member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP).

Biography[edit]

Cheo is a graduate of Nanyang University, where he studied in the Department of Government and Public Administration.[1]

Cheo first stood for Parliament at the 1988 general election, where he was defeated by Ng Pock Too of the governing People's Action Party (PAP) in Nee Soon Central. Ng won 57.6% of the votes in the constituency to Cheo's 38.5% (with a third candidate taking 3.9%).[2]

At the 1991 general election, Cheo again stood against Ng in Nee Soon Central. And this time, in a surprise result, Cheo defeated Ng to win the constituency. Cheo won 12,709 votes (50.3%) to Ng's 12,541 votes (49.7%). Cheo was one of three SDP MPs to be elected – with the party's leader Chiam See Tong retaining his seat in Potong Pasir, and Ling How Doong winning in Bukit Gombak.[3] The leader of the Workers' Party, Low Thia Khiang, was also elected in Hougang, giving the opposition parties a total of four seats. At the previous election, Chiam had been the only opposition MP to win a seat, so the results were seen as a significant success for the opposition.

In 1994, Chiam resigned as the SDP's leader after a dispute with the rest of the party's Central Executive Committee (which included Cheo). After he publicly criticised them, the Central Executive Committee attempted to expel Chiam from the party (which would have forced him to vacate his parliamentary seat), but he won a court case to prevent them from doing so on procedural grounds.

The negative publicity surrounding the dispute with Chaim hurt the SDP's prospects at the next general election in 1997. Cheo was defeated in his bid to be re-elected as Nee Soon Central's MP by the PAP's Ong Ah Heng. Ong won 15,214 votes (61.3%) to Cheo's 9,591 (38.7%).[4] Ling was also defeated in Bukit Gombak. Chiam joined the Singapore People's Party (SPP) after Parliament was dissolved ahead of the election, and was re-elected as Potong Pasir's MP representing his new party. The SDP was thus left with no seats in Parliament.

At the 2001 general election, Cheo stood as a member of the SDP's team in the Hong Kah Group Representation Constituency. The PAP's team won the contest with 79.7% of the votes to the SDP team's 20.3%.

In 2006, Cheo joined the National Solidarity Party. At the 2006 general election (in which the NSP's candidates stood under the banner of the Singapore Democratic Alliance) Cheo was a candidate in the Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency. The PAP's team won the contest with 69.3% of the votes to 30.7%.

At the 2011 general election, Cheo was a member of the NSP's team in the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency.[5] The PAP's team (which was led by former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong) defeated the NSP's team by 56.6% of the votes to 43.4%.

References[edit]