Netizens ponder about Heng Swee Keat's name being handwritten on East Coast GRC nomination form

PHOTO: CNA/Video screengrab

This morning saw the revelation of a surprise showdown for the votes of residents in East Coast GRC: a battle between comeback kid Nicole Seah and her Workers’ Party (WP team) and Heng Swee Keat, tipped to be the next prime minister, leading his People’s Action Party (PAP) squad. 

It was quite a bombshell. Heng has been an MP in Tampines GRC since 2011, and the decision to move the deputy prime minister to East Coast GRC signals how the PAP does not want to take any chances against a robust team fielded by WP in the constituency. 

It would also appear that PAP had purposefully kept who they would field as the anchor minister for its East Coast GRC team a secret right to the last minute, as Heng's name was the only one that was handwritten on the nomination papers. 

https://twitter.com/audreytrp/status/1277819826992377856

It’s something that netizens have pondered out loud on social media, with some presuming that his addition to the East Coast GRC team was a last-minute one. 

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https://twitter.com/Hartonope/status/1277830912453906432

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On Facebook though, Heng clarified about his departure from his Tampines stronghold, explaining that the PAP “cannot afford a gap in East Coast in these uncertain times”. Heng is now the anchor minister in East Coast GRC, replacing former Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who is retiring from politics. 

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In a follow-up post, he paid homage to his time as an MP in Tampines GRC, expressing his gratitude to the people of Tampines, where he started his political career. 

“Today, I hope to win the support of the people of East Coast to serve you in this difficult time.”

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ilyas@asiaone.com