GE2020: Deputy Speaker Charles Chong among 20-odd PAP MPs to retire

PHOTO: Screenshot from Gov.Sg YouTube page
Punggol East SMC Member of Parliament Charles Chong. (FILE PHOTO: Screenshot from Gov.Sg YouTube page)

SINGAPORE — About 20 People’s Action Party (PAP) Members of Parliament will be retiring ahead of the General Election, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his announcement of the party manifesto on Saturday (27 June).

In the past two days, PM Lee had announced the retirements of prominent cabinet ministers, Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

During his manifesto speech on Saturday, he singled out Deputy Speaker Charles Chong, MP for Punggol East single-member constituency (SMC).

“Of all the PAP MPs, Charles has probably experienced the narrowest winning margins in elections,” he said. “In 2011 he won in Joo Chiat with 51 per cent of the votes, and in 2015, he took back Punggol East with 52 per cent.

“Always by the skin of his teeth. Not because he is a weak MP, but because when there is a tough fight, and we need a strong candidate who will fight hard and fight smart, we send in Charles Chong. And every time, Charles has delivered.”

PM Lee also paid tribute to all the retiring PAP MPs, saying that each of them has served Singapore and the party loyally.

“I have no doubt that if they were to contest the coming GE, they would put up a strong showing,” he said. “But they have agreed to step down, because they understand the need for self-renewal, and have put the party and nation before self.

“After the GE, we will create the occasion to properly express our deep appreciation to them.”

PM Lee said that there will be 27 new PAP candidates for this GE – more than a quarter of PAP’s total slate, and more than in any previous election.

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