19 Feb 2006

General Election likely to be held in next 3 quarters: DPM Wong

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said the General Election was likely to be held in the next 3 quarters of this year.

Mr Wong said this at a community event held in Toa Payoh North-Central precinct on Sunday.

Mr Wong said: "It will happen in the next 3 quarters. We are always ready you know, as I have said in many occasions: The moment we win an election, we prepare for the next one."

As for what to expect in the coming elections, Mr Wong said there were details that still needed to be finalised.

He added: "It's possible that we have several more women MPs. How many, we can't tell you now. We have yet to finalise the group of MPs who will retire or the candidates who will join us. But you can be assured that at every election, we need to have an infusion of new people. Because even if an MP serves for 3-4 terms, or 5 terms, you would need to have 20-25 percent of turnover."

Mr Wong noted that 2 major challenges that Singaporeans had faced since the last elections were unemployment and the ongoing terrorist threat.

While the latest unemployment figures are the lowest in 4 years, he emphasised that more work needed to be done through the Community Engagement Programme to strengthen social cohesion and resilience.

Mr Wong's team had pledged S$300 million in 2001 to upgrade his GRC.

Besides the S$24.4 million Main Upgrading Project involving 10 blocks, 130 blocks in the estate have also had lift upgrading. - CNA/ch

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