The messy state of electoral boundaries

Aljunied GRC

[Updated 25 Jul 2015: Instead of doing a shake up to reduce many GRCs to a smaller 3 or 4-men GRC and increase the number of SMCs to improve MP’s accountability to their voters, the latest 2015’s Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report has failed to live up to that expectation. the changes at best is slight incremental improvement. SMC increases only by 1 seat and only 2 five-member GRCs being reduced to four-member GRCs and still ZERO three-member GRCs. we still have 8 five-member GRCs, 2  six-member GRCs (which was helmed by the PM and DPM respectively, maybe the EBRC worried too much about the unthinkable scenario where both PM and DPM will be voted out in a surprise outcome). Why leave a single opposition SMC amidst the 6-member GRC? If they have been fair and independent, no one would have accused them of gerrymandering. Dumb, those highly-paid civil servants in the EBRC just miss an golden opportunity to make a difference !!! they failed to to do what is right for Singapore rather than what is good for the current Government.) More]

Latest 2015 Singapore Electoral Map and that minor changes from Straits Times

 

Source: gothere.sg, caption by askmelah. Some voters who stay in Woodlands belong to the Sembawang GRC, someone stay in Sembawang belong to Yishun GRC and some voters in Yishun comes under Ang Mo Kio GRC and the list goes on. The Bedok Reservoir bordering Tampines are now part of Aljunied GRC, just look at the map and you will how ridiculous it can be. The Aljunied GRC covers major parts of Hougang, Serangoon, Lorong Ah Soo and Bedok, everywhere except Aljunied. The five sub divisions of Aljunied GRC are Serangoon, Paya Lebar, Bedok Reservoir-Pungol, Eunos and Kaki Bukit (new, replace the old Aljunied Hougang Division, source: The Sunday Times 1 May 2011). “Not every location that starts with “Hougang”, such as Hougang MRT, Hougang  Mall, Hougang  Stadium lies in the single-seat constituency. Hougang town is spread across five wards in four different constituencies. A portion belong to Hougang  SMC, while other parts come under Aljunied, AMK and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRCs” (Source: 19 May 2012, The Straits Times). Such is the mess of the GRC electoral boundaries. In five General Elections, an area in Kaki Bukit bounded by the Pan-Island Expressway, Bedok North Road and Bedok North Avenue 3 has been part of four constituencies — split between the Aljunied and Eunos Group Representation Constituencies in 1988, absorbed into East Coast GRC in 1997, moved to Marine Parade GRC in 2006 and back to Aljunied GRC in 2011.(Source: Todayonline 10Oct2014)

[As one forumer puts it: Because Aljunied MRT, Aljunied Industrial Estate etc etc are ALL NOT IN ALJUNIED GRC…Because I also have Hougang stated as my residential address but I am NOT part of HG SMC, I am in PP GRC, my sis and brother also HG but they are part of AMK GRC and MP GRC … Soon….coming Potong Pasir will be part JURONG (Island) GRC….]

One looks at the electoral map, it is puzzling how some Single Ward constituencies are being drawn. E.g. the single-member seat of Yuhua pops out in the middle of Jurong East and Pioneer in the mass piece of land of West Coast GRC. These wards are also small in population size compared to the GRC mammoths.

And what happen to the closely contested GRCs and SMCs where the ruling party almost lost or had lost, they have gone down into history (E.g. Anson SMC, Cheng San and Eunos GRCs). The ruling party had been accused of gerrymandering in the drawing of boundaries: Districts from Aljunied GRC, which was the previous election’s ‘battleground’ GRC, have been carved out and absorbed by Ang Mo Kio GRC creating suspicions that districts which rooted for the opposition were deliberated added to ‘safer’ wards. The argument of ‘population change’ is really bland as Ang Mo Kio and Hougang are matured estates. The conspiracy theory seems to be given more weights when The Sunday Times reported on 1 May 2011 revealing the support levels for PAP in the various precincts (see article 2).

Read also GRC Is To Protect The Minority Candidates? and Is Election Fair in Singapore?

[Updated 10 Oct 2014: Group urges more transparency in drawing electoral boundaries –

Highlighting its “frequent boundary changes”, human rights group Maruah yesterday called for more transparent deliberations by the committee that reviews electoral boundaries and for polling data at the precinct level to be made known.

Arbitrary and unnecessary electoral boundary changes breed cynicism about the political process and weaken the relationship between citizens and their elected representatives, Maruah argued in one of two position papers released.]

Map of Singapore’s electoral boundaries (source:Reach.gov.sg)

 

Posted in Dirty Politics

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My favourite quote today

"I am afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit, and it used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer’s claim that it is not sinkable, the name is Titanic. There are not enough life boats, no preparation or provision for failure. Thank you Mr Goh for reminding us." - Low Thia Khiang

"Till today, I am still puzzled by why the PAP cannot fight a fair election without gerrymandering, abusing the GRC system, basically, making sure they enter into a boxing ring with an opponent who is expected to fight them with hands tied behind the back. There is a reason why bullies are not popular in schools. Why not be the school prefect?" - Alvinology

"The question to ask is what lies at the root of the discontent or the disengagement between the G and the people. I am going to stick my neck out and say that it is ministerial salaries. I consider it the root of all evil. Serious. It reduces what should be a social compact into a business contract. " - Bertha Henson