Longest-serving PAP backbencher Charles Chong to retire

PHOTO: Facebook/Charles Chong

At the launch of the People’s Action Party (PAP) manifesto today (June 27), party chief Lee Hsien Loong announced that Punggol East MP Charles Chong is stepping down. 

Chong is the longest-serving PAP backbencher in Parliament and has taken on roles such as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament as well as the Acting Speaker of Parliament when Halimah Yacob stepped down to stand for president. 

An MP since he was elected to represent Sembawang GRC in 1988, PAP deployed him in various constituencies in subsequent elections, including Eunos GRC, Pasir Ris GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Joo Chiat SMC. 

It was in the 2015 general election that PAP fielded him in the opposition-held Punggol East SMC, where Chong managed to unseat Workers’ Party’s Lee Li Lian with 51.02 per cent of the votes. 

The last 32 years are among the most meaningful years of my life. I first joined politics in 1988 and over the years, I...

Posted by Charles Chong on Friday, June 26, 2020

Lee noted how Chong had always won elections by the skin of his teeth — but not because he’s a weak MP. 

"When there’s a tough fight and we need a strong candidate who will fight hard and fight smart, we send in Charles Chong,” the PAP chief stated. 

Punggol East has since been absorbed into a brand-new four-member Sengkang GRC for GE2020. 

ilyas@asiaone.com