Change is coming: PAP's Desmond Choo

Beaten but unbowed, losing People's Action Party candidate Desmond Choo says that "change is coming".

Speaking to the media after losing the Hougang by-election, Choo said that he will continue his work in the single member constituency.

His Workers' Party rival Png Eng Huat won with a convincing 62.09 per cent of total votes. A silver lining though was that Choo came home with 37.91 per cent of total eligible votes -- a near three percentage improvement from last May.

Then, he had lost the same seat to WP's Yaw Shin Leong by garnering only 35.2 per cent of votes.

Referring to his improvement in the share of votes, the 34-year-old deputy director at NTUC said, "Change is coming and it’s a long process. We will continue our work in Hougang and we have embarked on a new beginning. I have no regrets and we have managed to touch many hearts."

On whether he would stand again in Hougang in the 2016 elections for the third time, Choo deflected the question and said, "You'll see me here on 28 May."

He was referring to his weekly Monday coffee sessions as Hougang grassroots adviser.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was by Choo's side, said the PAP had expected Hougang to be a tough fight.

"We knew Hougang would be difficult and we took Hougang seriously," said Teo, who is also the first Assistant Secretary-General of the PAP.

While he congratulated WP's Png Eng Huat for the victory, DPM Teo was encouraged that more voters had supported Choo's vision of a "new beginning."

DPM Teo also said the vote in Hougang was not reflective of the support of the PAP but of Hougang residents.

"Hougang is not representative of other parts of Singapore," said DPM Teo, looks forward to Png's contributions in Parliament.

PM Lee congratulated the WP for the win but said he was "encouraged" by the PAP showing and he is confident it would "win back the constituency in a future election".

"I respect the choice of Hougang voters. The PAP will continue to be present in Hougang," he said in a statement sent to the media.

Party supporters also told Yahoo! Singapore that despite the result, they remain firm believers of Choo and will continue to support him.

Retiree Kadir Madina, 60, expressed shock at the results. “Of course, I expected Desmond to win but nonetheless, I will continue to root for him. Desmond has all the qualities in him.”