After some hi jinks, Nomination Day ended with 82 out of the 87 seats in Parliament being contested. There is only one Single Member Constituency (SMC) that will have a 3-cornered fight. The uncontested seat was Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC), anchored by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
The most notable nominations were Low Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong, who have opted to leave their SMC and contest in a GRC. It should be noted that both Opposition candidates have been MPs for more than two terms, which will entitle them a pension.
There was a surprise pull out in the People's Action Party Camp (PAP). Steve Tan from the NTUC, said that he has decided to pull out from the elections due to "personal reasons". Artistic director Baey Yam Kehng will move from Tanjong Pagar to the Tampines GRC, and surgeon Chia Shih Lu will take over Baey's slot.
It will be an exciting 9 days of campaigning. But I am of the opinion that the PAP will sweep all the seats in Parliaments once the votes are tallied. Both Low and Chiam's stepping out from their SMC is preemptive in my opinion. One, I believe that the residents of the SMC do want to have their estate upgraded. Secondly, I think that the two Opposition MPs intend to work the ground for the future GE.
The PAP government has had an impressive track record. Housing, transportation as well as economic development of the city-state are feathers in the cap. Nonetheless, there is that niggling feeling that the one-party dominance my be feeling the strain of globalisation.