Desmond Choo thanks supporters for having faith in him

People's Action Party (PAP) obtained 8,210 votes, with Desmond Choo garnering 37.91 per cent of the votes, two per cent higher than his previous year's results.

This is the second loss for Mr Choo, who was beaten in the 2011 General Election by Yaw Shin Leong, 36.

The final results showed that the Workers' Party (WP) had won the by-election with 13,447 votes, out of a total of 21, 657 votes. It obtained 62.09 per cent of the eligible votes cast.

At the close of poll, the total number of votes cast locally was 21,951, inclusive of 294 rejected votes. This is 93.94 per cent of the 23,368 registered electors in Hougang Constituency.

At the Hougang PAP branch, Mr Choo thanked Hougang residents for having faith in him.

PAP supporters had chanted "Desmond Choo, great effort" when the results were announced by Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee.

Mr Choo said it is always disappointing to lose the election.

"Change is a process that sometimes is a long journey. I'm very glad that the process to change had started.

"I would like to congratulate Mr Png Eng Huat. He has worked very hard and he fully deserves to be elected," he added.

Mr Choo said that he has no regrets on how this campaign has come about.

At the press conference, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean spoke together with Mr Choo, congratulating Mr Png and said he looks forward to Mr Png's contribution in parliament.

He commented that more voters have put their faith in Mr Choo and given him stronger support this time round.

"I think that the elections in Hougang are quite special because Hougang is not representative of the whole of Singapore necessarily, with each constituency is different and Hougang has its own characteristics.

"So, we did expect a very difficult fight in Hougang and we're very encouraged that more residents have seen and supported Desmond's vision of a new future, and we've very encouraged by that and it's a new beginning, as Desmond has said," said DPM Teo.

After Mr Choo spoke to the media, PAP's Hougang branch shut its doors and windows.

Inside, DPM Teo was heard addressing the supporters, to cheers: "Much better than 2011, much better than 2006."

Outside, labour chief Lim Swee Say was heard agreeing with a supporter that a 3 per cent increase is still an improvement.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

Additional reporting by Karen Lim and Clement Yap.

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