'What can a female candidate do that I cannot?': SDP's Robin Low goes against PAP's Grace Fu at women-only stronghold Yuhua SMC

PHOTO: Singapore Democratic Party, The Straits Times file

Yuhua SMC will see a fight between incumbent People's Action Party (PAP) MP and a contender from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for this year's election. 

Nothing new about that, as SDP has traditionally contested in Yuhua during the past few elections.

The one thing that stands out that, however, is that the opposition this time is represented by a man, SDP newcomer Robin Low, 45, who is contesting in his first election. 

For the uninitiated, Yuhua SMC is all about girl power. The ward has been under a female MP since it was re-introduced in 1984 and has only seen contests between female candidates since 1988. That is, until this year. 

First Nomination Day Round Thoughts: It is indeed a long day. I got my candidacy approved, Grace Fu told me "Good Luck...

Posted by Robin Low on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Yuhua is currently defended by PAP's Grace Fu, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

I am grateful that the residents of Yuhua have trusted me as their representative for these past 14 years, and it has...

Posted by Grace Fu on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Here are some other fun facts about Singapore's second-smallest ward this year (just 21,376 voters):

  • Yuhua was a single-seat constituency until 1997, when it was absorbed into the now-defunct Bukit Timah GRC. It then became part of Jurong GRC from 2001 to 2011, before it was carved out as a single-seat ward
  • PAP’s Yu-Foo Yee Shoon represented the SMC until 2006 and was succeeded by party member Grace Fu from 2011.
  • Fu is the second woman in Singapore's history to hold the status of full Minister, after former Cabinet minister Lim Hwee Hwa, and is the first woman to helm a ministry.
  • In 2015, Fu successfully defended her seat with 73.5 per cent of the votes against SDP candidate, Jaslyn Go, a sales director of a construction firm.
  • In 2011, former Internal Security Act detainee Teo Soh Lung from SDP also contested the seat without success. 

When asked at an SDP press conference on Nomination Day about how he feels going into the electoral fight knowing Yuhua's all-women electoral history, Low said: “I don't think voters care about gender in voting. What can a female candidate do that I cannot?”

candicecai@asiaone.com