Singaporean general election, 2001
84 seats (only 29 seats contested) to the Parliament of Singapore
43 seats needed for a majority
1 NCMP seat offered
People's Action Party
Workers' Party of Singapore
Singapore Democratic Alliance
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The Singaporean parliamentary general elections of 2001 were held on 3 November. The People's Action Party, the incumbent ruling party, won 82 out of 84 seats in the election, including 55 walkovers. Due to the large number of uncontested seats, only 675,306 of the 2,036,923 eligible voters (33.2%) actually voted.
Background and issues
The ruling PAP was facing one of the toughest hurdles in its history. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong originally intended for the election to take place in 2002, but in late 2001, Singapore was saddled with the worst economic crisis since independence, after the events of the 11 September attacks in the United States.
For the first time since 1963, a formal political umbrella emerged from within the opposition. The four-party Singapore Democratic Alliance was established with Chiam See Tong as chief, consisting of the Singapore People's Party he led, which was the leader party, National Solidarity Party (NSP), PKMS and Singapore Justice Party (SJP). NSP provided the bulk of nine candidates, SPP four and PKMS providing a required minority candidate.
Former WP Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (J. B. Jeyaretnam), who lost his seat after being declared a bankrupt owing to lawsuits by PAP leaders, resigned from the party, citing disagreements with the present leadership. Sole WP MP Low Thia Khiang took over as secretary-general.
This election saw the end of four-member GRCs and a shortest campaigning period of 17 days after opening of the register of electors. A seat had been vacated in 1999 after the conviction of PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang over commercial crimes, but no by-election was held as the seat was within a GRC. Under the law, an entire electoral constituency, be it GRC or SMC, has to be vacated before a by-election is required, as was done during the Marine Parade GRC by-election of 1992.
Another increase of the election deposit amount this time was the most significant one in history, which almost doubled.
On nomination day, the sole WP GRC team was disqualified for filing incomplete papers in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency. Opposition parties ended up contesting only a-third of the seats, the lowest portion since 1968, which resulted in the largest number of walkovers for PAP in history.
WP's Low and SDA's Chiam retained their seats, but saw their winning margins slashed from the previous GE. With these two opposition wins, one NCMP seat was offered to and accepted by Steve Chia of SDA-NSP, who became the youngest and first ever non-WP NCMP.
- Boon Lay SMC merged into West Coast GRC
- Bukit Gombak SMC merged into Hong Kah GRC
- Cheng San GRC Dissolved into Aljunied GRC, Ang Mo Kio GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
- Kampong Glam SMC merged into Jalan Besar GRC
- Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC split into Jalan Besar GRC and Tanjong Pagar GRC
- Pasir Ris GRC merged into Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Aljunied GRC and Tampines GRC
- New GRCs
- New SMCs
- Changes in electoral seats within GRCs
- Dissolved Divisions (14)
- Aljunied was dissolved.
- Ang Mo Kio was split into Yio Chu Kang and Teck Ghee.
- Geylang West was split into Kolam Ayer and Jalan Besar.
- Hong Kah East was renamed into Jurong Central.
- Hong Kah West was merged into Nanyang.
- Jurong was split into Pioneer and Taman Jurong.
- Kampong Kembangan was renamed Aljunied-Kembangan.
- Kreta Ayer was merged with Kim Seng to form Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng.
- Leng Kee was dissolved, split into Queenstown, Radin Mas and the brand new Tanglin-Cairnhill.
- Pasir Panjang split into Telok Blangah and West Coast.
- Pasir Ris Central was dissolved.
- Pasir Ris Elias was renamed to Pasir Ris West.
- Pasir Ris Loyang was renamed to Pasir Ris East.
- Punggol East was renamed to Kembangan-Punggol.
- Tanglin was dissolved, replaced by Tanglin-Cairnhill.
- New Divisions (16)
- Admiralty (split from Woodlands)
- Aljunied-Hougang (renamed from Punggol South)
- Bukit Batok East (split from Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak & Bukit Timah)
- Canberra (split from Sembawang)
- Cashew (split from Bukit Panjang)
- Jurong Central (renamed from Hong Kah East)
- Kembangan-Punggol (renamed from Punggol East)
- Keat Hong (split from Chua Chu Kang)
- Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng (merged from Kreta Ayer & Kim Seng)
- Pioneer (from parts of Jurong)
- Punggol Central (split from Punggol Central & Punggol East)
- Punggol North (split from Punggol Central & Punggol East)
- Punggol South (split from Punggol Central & Punggol East)
- Taman Jurong (renamed from Jurong)
- Tanglin-Cairnhill (renamed from Tanglin)
- Zhenghua (split from Bukit Panjang and Tanglin)
- Ahmad Khalis, 40
- Amy Khor, 43
- Arthur Fong, 37
- Balaji Sadasivian, 46
- Cedric Foo, 41
- Chong Weng Chiew, 32
- Cynthia Phua, 43
- Gan Kim Yong, 42
- Halimah Yacob, 47
- Indranee Rajah, 38
- Irene Ng, 37
- Khaw Boon Wan, 48
- Madeleine Ho, 45
- Mohammed Maliki bin Osman, 36
- Ng Eng Hen, 42
- Ong Seh Hong, 37
- Penny Low, 34
- Raymond Lim, 42
- Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 44
- Vivian Balakrishnan, 40
- Warren Lee, 41
- Wee Siew Kim, 41
- Zainudin Nordin, 38
- Aline Wong, MP for Tampines GRC (Changkat); who is making way for the new MP, Ms Irene Ng and simplified the constituencies' names.
- Bernard Chen Tien Lap, MP for West Coast GRC (Clementi)
- Chng Hee Kok, MP for East Coast GRC (Fengshan)
- Eugene Yap, MP for Marine Parade GRC (Mountbatten)
- Goh Chee Wee, MP for Boon Lay SMC
- Goh Choon Kang, MP for Marine Parade GRC (Braddell Heights)
- Harun Abdul bin Ghani, MP for Hong Kah GRC (Hong Kah West)
- Heng Chiang Meng, MP for Cheng San GRC (Jalan Kayu)
- Ho Tat Kin, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (Bishan North)
- Ibrahim Othman, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (Toa Payoh Central)
- Kenneth Chen Koon Lap, MP for Hong Kah GRC (Hong Kah North)
- Ker Sin Tze, MP for Aljunied GRC (Paya Lebar)
- Lew Syn Pau, MP for Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC (Tanglin)
- Ow Chin Hock, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Leng Kee)
- Peh Chin Hua, MP for Jalan Besar GRC (Geylang West)
- Peter Chen, MP for Hong Kah GRC (Nanyang)
- Richard Hu, MP for Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC (Kreta Ayer); he had announced his retirement from politics. He (originally) also planned to be in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC team, however the idea was scrapped.
- S Vasoo, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Radin Mas)
- Sidek bin Saniff, MP for Aljunied GRC (Eunos); and highlighted that the growing development of Sengkang and Punggol could have caused them.
- Sinakruppan Ramasamy, MP for Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC (Moulmein)
- Tang Guan Seng, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC (Ang Mo Kio); and the GRC team merged with Cheng San and Jalan Kayu.
- Toh See Kiat, MP for Aljunied GRC (Aljunied), and it is no longer effective.
- Wan Soon Bee, MP for West Coast GRC (Pasir Panjang)
In addition, a lot of PAP branches began to close down. These include -
- Geylang West was merged into Kolam Ayer in Jalan Besar GRC.
- Leng Kee was merged into Queenstown in Tanjong Pagar GRC.
- Pasir Panjang was merged into West Coast in West Coast GRC.
PAP won a landslide victory and its best result since 1980. The party achieved its third highest score among the general elections it has contested, since 1959. The PAP's vote percentage of 75.3% signalled an overwhelming endorsement of the PAP to lead the nation out of the crisis that came at a time of great uncertainty over world security and the recession that came after 11/9. This was also the last time Goh Chok Tong lead the party into a general election.
|Parties and alliances||Leader||Contested
|Seats won||Popular vote||%||+/-|
|People's Action Party||Goh Chok Tong||84||82†||470,765||75.3%||
|Singapore Democratic Alliance||Chiam See Tong||13||1||75,248||12.0%||
|Singapore Democratic Party||Chee Soon Juan||11||0||50,607||8.1%||
|Workers' Party||Low Thia Khiang||2||1||19,060||3.0%||
|Democratic Progressive Party||Tan Lead Shake||2||0||5,334||0.9%||
|Did not vote||36,403||-|
|Total voting electorate||675,306||-|
|†includes uncontested victories|
- "Hsien Loong: Election soon". (8 November 2005). New Straits Times, p. 31.