Balance needed between GRCs and SMCs, says PM

The electoral boundaries committee will need to maintain a balance between Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) in drawing the electoral map for the next general election, the Prime Minister said last night.

And, the committee has yet to be convened, he added.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong was responding to a listener, Mr Yang, who called in to MediaCorp's Capital 95.8 Chinese radio station during a special on-air programme with him, to ask if there would be more SMCs.

This is so that more people could, as Mr Yang put it, choose the representatives they want.

In his reply, Mr Lee said that both SMCs and GRCs serve a purpose.

And incumbents in GRCs will also have to contest to keep their seats in Parliament, he added.

The last general election in May 2011 was the first in which the People's Action Party lost a GRC to an opposition party, when Aljunied GRC fell to the Workers' Party.

In that election, the number of SMCs increased to 12, from nine in 2006. The number of GRCs grew to 15, one more than in 2006. Since 1988, voters living in GRCs elect teams of three to six MPs, one of whom must be a member of a minority race.

For the 2011 General Election, the boundaries committee - which studies and, if need be, redraws constituency boundaries before a general election - was convened by October 2010.

It issued its report at the end of February 2011.

This article was first published on Sep 2, 2014.
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