Addressing a crowd of about 100 supporters and residents who had gathered at Potong Pasir before setting off on "thank you" parade with SPP candidates on Sunday afternoon, Lina attributed the presence of new citizens as one of the reasons for her narrow loss in the polls, where her PAP rival Sitoh Yi Pin won by a mere 114 votes.
"This election is a very close fight and we had to do recounting; I believe that my loss is not because of you all not voting for me," said the wife of opposition stalwart Chiam See Tong.
"I think it's because of the new citizens and also because of the upgrading of the flat which some of these old folks are afraid of and they were told they might not get their upgrading," she added.
She said the building of new condominiums in the constituency is also a sign of changing demographics in her ward. But unperturbed, she stressed she will continue to "fight" for Potong Pasir.
"I will not give up and will continue fighting for Potong Pasir, and my team will help me to make it better for Potong Pasir, intellectually and municipally. We shall be back; I shall return," she said.
Her husband, Chiam, was also positive in defeat, saying that his team contesting in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC managed to secure a commendable number of votes against the incumbent People's Action Party (PAP) team led by Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng.
Considering that he had only assembled the team one month ahead of the general election. he said, "Although we have lost, we have won 43 per cent of the votes, so it is right that we thank all those people who have voted for us. Although we have not gained any seats in parliament, we've done quite well."
He also declined to discuss whether his wife will take up the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seat, however, saying that it depends on her and the decision by the party's central executive committee. Losing candidates with the highest numbers of percentage votes are eligible to take up the nine available NCMP seats in parliament, albeit with limited voting rights.
As for himself, Chiam -- who for the first time in 27 years will not have a seat in Parliament -- said he will "never surrender" and will participate in the next election if his health permits.
"Next time we will do better. We shall never surrender. In the end, we shall win the battle, we shall conquer. Thank you everybody for coming," he told a gathering crowd who had come to say goodbye to him.
While supporters of the SPP have gone as far as to start a petition calling for a by-election, Chiam dismissed the validity of the petition, saying it has no grounds.
"I am a lawyer and I should know the law. There's no provision inside the case for a by-election, so I don't know how they are going to do it," he said of the petition which has about 2,000 signatures.
As the Chiams and their party members travelled from Potong Pasir to Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, they were given a heroes' welcome.
Residents swarmed around the truck carrying the SPP team, some offering their condolences for the loss of Potong Pasir. Others simply came forward to shake hands with the man they hailed an "inspiration".
One of them was Potong Pasir resident Maz Ahmad. While expressing support for the Chiams, tears welled up in her eyes.
"I feel sad (about the SPP's loss). I waited for the results until 3am. We need somebody who can voice out issues concerning Singaporeans, like the increasing number of foreigners," she said.
Maz, who said she has been a faithful supporter of Chiam, however, said his team still has to work harder.
"They can do better; they just have to work harder. They lost Bishan maybe because the residents are not familiar with some members of the team," she added.
34-year-old B. Venkatesh Sathish, who has lived in Potong Pasir for the past 27 years, told told Yahoo! Singapore he felt particularly emotional at the news of Chiam's departure because he had grown up in the ward under Chiam's care.
"He is an outstanding guy, who serves without complaint," he said.
Shedding tears, he added, "He's like a father to me... I'm here to say goodbye to him, and to thank him for the last 27 years."
For supporter Adeline Sin, 35, who stays in Chua Chu Kang, she thought nothing of the distance travelled as long as she got to meet her "inspiration".
"I first watched him at a rally many years back. I felt he did a lot of things for us in Singapore," said Sin, who works as a purchaser. "He inspired me a lot, a great man," she added.
"I am very sad, they lost only by 114 votes, I don't understand. But I am unable to judge because I don't live in the constituency."
Another resident, 36-year-old Gene Lim, also expressed shock over the defeats suffered by the Chiams, adding that residents in Potong Pasir have always been unfazed by the HDB upgrading "carrots" dangled by the PAP.
"We didn't expect the Chiams to lose, it's not the matter whether it's Lina or Chiam contesting in Potong Pasir. We expected Lina to win, even if by a small margin," he said.