Singaporean general election, 1988
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
General elections were held in Singapore on 3 September 1988. The result was a victory for the People's Action Party, which won 80 of the 81 seats. Voter turnout was 94.7%, although this figure represents the turnout in the 50 constituencies to be contested, with PAP candidates earning walkovers in the other 31.
Group Representation Constituencies were introduced in this general election to ensure ethnic minority representation in Parliament, starting with three joint constituencies. This was the last time Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew led the PAP in an election and another two stalwarts, former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Toh Chin Chye and Senior Minister S. Rajaratnam, retired for the PAP's renewal process.
Two seats were vacated in 1986 - the seat of Anson for Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament and chief J. B. Jeyaretnam and Geylang West of PAP MP Teh Cheang Wan, the former convicted and disqualified as MP for improper party accounts, while the latter committed suicide while on investigations for corruption - but no by-election was held. The Workers' Party absorbed two parties, Barisan Sosialis (BS) and Singapore United Front to become the largest opposition party and also allied with the Malay party PKMS as one common unit.
Former solicitor-general and Law Society president, Francis Seow, standing under the WP ticket in Eunos Group Representation Constituency with veteran politician Dr Lee Siew Choh, came under fire from the PAP leadership for his alleged dubious financial circumstances. Nevertheless, the strong WP team caught PAP's attention and Tay Eng Soon, a popular PAP stalwart, was switched to face the team. In the end, PAP won the GRC by an extremely narrow margin of 50.9% for the PAP and 49.1% for the WP.
Francis Seow fled the country to avoid arrest and was disqualified from the post while Dr Lee took up the offer and became Singapore's first NCMP. This also marked his return to Parliament after 25 years since his last stint as a PAP and BS legislator. Once again, there was a significant increase of election deposit.
In November 1990, two years after the election, the Nominated MP scheme was implemented to introduce non-partisan voices into the legislature. Although the law allowed up to six NMPs, two were appointed at the start and served for a year before the Parliament term ended.
The following were merged into GRCs:
- Aljunied, Kampong Kembangan and Kampong Ubi divisions were merged into Aljunied GRC.
- Bedok, Kampong Chai Chee and Tanah Merah divisions were merged into Bedok GRC.
- Cheng San, Chong Boon and Jalan Kayu divisions were merged into Cheng San GRC.
- Eunos, Kaki Bukit and part of Tampines divisions were merged into Eunos GRC.
- Part of Hong Kah, Yuhua and Bukit Batok divisions were merged into Hong Kah GRC.
- Jalan Besar, Kolam Ayer and Geylang West divisions were merged into Jalan Besar GRC.
- Marine Parade, Joo Chiat and Geylang Serai divisions were merged into Marine Parade GRC.
- Part of Nee Soon and most of Sembawang divisions were merged into Sembawang GRC.
- Tampines division were evolved into Tampines GRC.
- Tiong Bahru, Radin Mas and Henderson divisions were evolved into Tiong Bahru GRC.
- Boon Teck, Kuo Chuan and Toa Payoh divisions were evolved into Toa Payoh GRC.
|People's Action Party||848,029||63.2||80||+3|
|Singapore Democratic Party||158,341||11.8||1||0|
|National Solidarity Party||50,432||3.8||0||New|
|United People's Front||17,282||1.3||0||0|
|Singapore Justice Party||14,660||1.1||0||0|
|Singapore Malay National Organisation||13,526||1.0||0||0|
|Source: Nohlen et al.|
- Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p255 ISBN 0-19-924959-8