PARLIAMENTARY GENERAL ELECTION 1988
GRCs were introduced in this GE to ensure ethnic minority representation in Parliament, beginning with three joint constituencies. The Electoral Boundaries Delineation Committee was replaced by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee and changes were no longer passed as a bill in Parliament but by approval of the Prime Minister's Office. The report, after placement with the PMO on 25 May 1988, was released on 14 June 1988. Seven wards with their names erased from the map were Anson, Bo Wen, Delta, Khe Bong, River Valley, Rochore and Telok Ayer. Hong Kah and Tampines were each divided into three divisions falling within GRCs and so was Nee Soon but into two single wards and a GRC division. There were another two new single wards and a new GRC division. This was the last time PM Lee Kuan Yew led the PAP in a GE and another two stalwarts, former Deputy PM Dr Toh Chin Chye and Senior Minister S. Rajaratnam, retired. Two seats were vacated in 1986. They were Anson of WP Member of Parliament and chief J. B. Jeyaretnam and Geylang West of PAP MP Teh Cheang Wan. The former was convicted for impropriety of party accounts and disqualified as MP, whereas the latter committed suicide while under investigation for corruption, but no by-elections were held. WP absorbed BS and SUF to become the largest opposition party and also allied with PKMS. Francis Seow, former solicitor-general, Law Society president and Internal Security Act detainee, ran under the WP ticket in Eunos GRC alongside veteran politician Dr Lee Siew Choh. Defending lawyer for several Operation Spectrum detainees, he came under heavy fire from the PAP leadership who made allegations about his past record in the civil service and dubious financial circumstances. PAP also swapped candidates to field popular stalwart, Dr Tay Eng Soon, to face the strong WP team. In the end, PAP won the GRC by an extremely narrow margin. With SDP's sole victory, two Non-Constituency MP seats were offered to WP, which nominated Dr Lee and Seow to take them up. However, Seow, who was charged for tax evasion, fled the country to avoid arrest and was disqualified from his seat on 17 December 1988 before Parliament began. Dr Lee became Singapore's first NCMP and this marked his return to Parliament after 25 years since his last stint as a PAP and BS legislator. In November 1990, two years after the GE, the Nominated MP scheme was introduced to bring non-partisan voices into Parliament. Although the law provided for up to six NMPs, two were first appointed and served for a year before the Parliament term ended.
6th Parliament dissolution: 17 August 1988 [Wed]
Election deposit: $4,000 (+$2,500)