MND issues order to form 17 town councils, including Sengkang

(GRAPHIC: Workers' Party)
(GRAPHIC: Workers' Party)

SINGAPORE —The Ministry of National Development (MND) on Thursday (30 July) issued a declaration order for the formation of 17 town councils, including a new one serving the Sengkang group representation constituency (GRC), following the recently-concluded General Election (GE).

Under the Town Councils Act, these town councils have up to 90 days from the date of the Town Councils (Declaration) Order 2020 to take over the management of areas to be transferred.

This means the newly formed Sengkang Town Council and the 11 reconstituted town councils – Ang Mo Kio, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Chua Chu Kang, Jalan Besar, Marine Parade, Marsiling-Yew Tee, Nee Soon – will take over the management of the transferred areas with effect from 28 October, said the MND in a press release.

Town councils involved in the handing and taking over process can also mutually agree to an earlier take-over date as permitted by the Town Councils Act, it added.

There area also five other town councils with unchanged town areas. In total, the town councils serve 31 constituencies.

Sengkang Town council will be run by Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) He Ting Ru, Louis Chua Kheng Wee, Raeesah Khan, and Jamus Lim. Sengkang GRC was introduced ahead of GE2020 and is formed from segments of the previous Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Punggol East Single-Member Constituency (SMC) and Sengkang West SMC.

The 11 reconstituted town councils are the result of some areas under their purview becoming part of other towns, due to changes in electoral boundaries or changes in the grouping of constituencies for a town, said the MND.

The remaining five town councils that continue to exist with their town areas unchanged are Aljunied-Hougang, East Coast-Fengshan, Holland-Bukit Panjang, Jurong-Clementi and Tanjong Pagar.

Separately, the town council of East Coast-Fengshan has been renamed as East Coast.

These town councils were formed at the request of the respective MPs, said the MND. “The MND encourages all town councils to work together to ensure a smooth transition so that the needs of residents can continue to be served,” added the ministry.

During the GE, WP’s Sengkang team garnered 52.13 per cent of the votes while facing the People’s Action Party (PAP) team led by then-Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Ng Chee Meng which includes Lam Pin Min, Amrin Amin as well as Raymond Lye.

The WP also retained the Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, winning a total of 10 seats out of 93 in Singapore’s 14th Parliament. This led to party chief Pritam Singh being officially appointed as the country’s first-ever Leader of the Opposition.

While the PAP won the remaining 83 seats and 61.24 per cent of the overall vote share, it suffered its worst electoral performance since independence in terms of the number of seats lost to the opposition, with Sengkang being the second GRC to ever be lost by the ruling party since the GRC scheme began in 1988.

The PAP’s vote share also saw a sharp drop from 69.9 per cent in GE2015. The new Parliament is set to convene on 24 August.

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