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review insight í THE STRAITS TIMES FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 2010 PAGE A28 On the ground... Hong Kah GRC Sembawang GRC in HOLLAND-BUKIT TIMAH GRC Ang Moh Kio Bukit Panjang GRC SMC Chua Chu WARD HISTORY Kang SMC DS ROAD BUKIT T Holland-Bukit Timah GRC was formed in 2006 In 2001, Holland-Bukit Panjang when it replaced Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC. GRC was uncontested. Bukit Innovation Bishan- Place Jurong The new constituency incorporated Bukit Timah SMC saw an electoral GRC Toa Payoh IMAH LAN Timah SMC, but Bukit Panjang ward was carved battle in which the PAPs Upper GRC out as an SMC. The GRC saw a walkover for the Dr Wang Kai Yuen won with 77 Seletar WOOD Reservoir EXPRESSWAY PAP in the General Election in the same year. per cent of the votes. Tanjong Yew Tee West Coast Pagar e yan Railway Lin Industrial GRC GRC BUONA VISTA POPULATION PROFILE Estate Population Zhenghua HOLLAND- 202,040 Secondary Mr Lim Swee School BUKIT TIMAH GRC Say West Hill M ala Age: 56 Secondary KRANJI EXPRESSWAY School Buona Occupation: Minister, Zhenghua Prime Minister’s Vista Office and Secretary- No. of voters Ulu General of the National Trades 133,260 Ten Mile Junction Bukit Panjang Greenridge Secondary Cashew Pandan Union Congress Plaza School Nature Reserve Bukit Year he entered politics: 1996 9.2% BU KIT PAN Timah Malay JA N GR Bukit CASHEW 7.1% OA D Panjang UPPER BU K PET Bukit SMC 79% Indian Bukit IR Panjang Bus RO Panjang Dr Vivian AD LRT Line Balakrishnan Chinese 4.7% Interchange Fajar Secondary BUKIT IT Age: 49 Others School Boy’s TIM Occupation: Town Chestnut AH TIMAH Minister for S’pore Community Drive Upper RO CHIJ School Development, Secondary Peirce AD Our Lady School Reservoir 31% EXPRES Youth and Sports Queen of Live in private Peace Central Catchment Year he entered housing Nature Reserve Dairy Farm 69% politics: 2001 DAIRY FARM ROAD SWAY Live in public Estate MOE Dairy housing The Farm Adventure BUKIT Salvation Centre TIMAH Army Mrs Yu-Foo 26.7% The Rail Mall Bukit Timah Yee Shoon Five room or larger Nature Reserve Age: 60 Occupation: Minister of State, 22.5% RIFLE Canadian International Ministry of Four room RANGE School (Middle) Bukit Golf Community Course 2006 GE Nature ROAD Development, 19.8% UPPER BUKIT Hollandse RESULT PIE Youth and Sports TIMAH ROAD Reserves German Visitor School (Dutch European Three room School) Year she entered or smaller Centre School (S’pore) politics: 1984 Bukit Timah flats JALAN Gun Club PIE L ST PAN Swiss Club ANAK RA EA -IS Swiss School LAN BUKIT Bukit NT G ZHENGHUA Institute of CE RON DE Engineers Timah XPR TOH TUCK ROAD JU ESS S’pore Saddle Singapore Pei Hwa Presbyterian Sime Turf Club WA Darby City Mr Liang Eng Technologies Y Primary School Hwa Bukit Timah Centre Ulu Pandan Water Walkover Age: 46 Jurong Water Primary School Y DUN Former IMM Hub WA EAR Occupation: East Reclamation Ulu R E SS N R Race EMENTI ROAD Building OAD Plant Pandan EXP K AVE Managing station Course director, DBS Bank BO MRT PAN-ISLAND Ngee Ann Tan BUKIT Hwa Chong ON Polytechnic CLEMENTI AVE 6 Depot Methodist TIM International T UC Year he entered LA Chong AH Creative Y SUNSET Girls’ Motor ROA School politics: 2006 WA Trade D H Technology WAY SIM University Primary & Centre TO Y Hub 21 Clementi Hwa Chong Secondary CL Acer Camp & S’pore Junior College Computer CO Institute of KTM Schools M Bukit Coronation ULU Ulu Pandan Refuse S’pore Management Plaza MO AYER Incineration Buddhist Timah CORONATION PANDAN NW R A JA Youth Railway ROAD WEST E Plant AV H EA EXP Mission Station Mr Christopher RE TH LTH ROAD PANDAN SIX de Souza SS ULU AV Nanyang WA Age: 34 E Primary Y Occupation: Partner Pei Tong Embassy of The St Margaret’s WE ITE College Primary School Secondary at law firm Lee & Lee HO Socialist Republic ST West L School Year he entered School of Vietnam AD (Clementi) RO LA ND politics: 2006 Nan Hua RO ER GHIM Primary AD Buona Vista R R School Holland FA Swimming Road MOH Ghim Moh RD Complex Shopping Sources: Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, PAP Branches and Elections Department Primary Centre School Ghim Moh Secondary HOLLAND School AVE TEXT: ELGIN TOH ST FILE PHOTOS Anglo Civil Service Chinese ST GRAPHICS Rich-poor issues SWAY College School International QUEEN One Commonwealth their flats is also not an option as they own only Commonwealth one property. Thus the recent mea- station sures to cool the property market are cheered. The perspective changes when it comes to the well-off. pose challenge As Madam Lucie Chua, 50, who lives in a bungalow in the plush Namly estate, points out, many of those around her own multiple properties and may not wel- come the recent slew of property mea- sures, fearing a plunge in the value of their assets. Similarly, transport is an issue that sees divergent views between the two housing groups. Technician Lee Hock Hwa, 52, an HDBWith 31 per cent of its residents living in private housing, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC has the largest resident in Zhenghua, says his daily trans- port expenditure has grown from $2 toshare of upper-class voters in Singapore. If bread-and-butter issues trouble the HDB heartlanders, $3: “The fares are getting too expensive. But I think I’ll vote PAP still. Singaporewhat are the concerns of the rich? Elgin Toh, Li Xueying, Janice Heng and Chia Yan Min speak to 100 constituents will get very chaotic if more oppositionacross its five wards to feel the political pulse. MPs are elected.” For administrative assistant Bahriah Abu Bakar, 48, the lack of an MRT stationT HE Malay word ulu can mean swathes of the other four wards are also privately owned section and the other people like us more help,” says retiree near her HDB flat in Cashew is a pet remote, backward or undevel- filled with private estates. half from its HDB crowd – to feel the po- Chew Chan Nam, 76, who lives in a peeve, as bus service 190 to town is oped. Pandan is a sweet-smell- Buona Vista stretches from Holland litical pulse. three-room flat in Buona Vista. always packed in the morning. ing plant used in making some Village to Coronation estate; Zhenghua Some differences are immediately evi- For owners of five-room flats and exec- “People are standing on the steps. foodstuffs. comprises the HDB estates in Senja and dent. utive condominium units, however, the Imagine how dangerous it would be if the But take a stroll around the Ulu Pan- Greenridge as well as the area around For starters, bread-and-butter issues overriding concern can be summed up as bus jams its brakes.”dan ward with MP Christopher de Souza, Turf City; Cashew goes from the Salva- rank high on the priority list of the less the middle-class squeeze. But for Madam Sandra Koh, 46, whoand you will not see any sign of the kam- tion Army headquarters to Senja LRT sta- well-off. Not one private home dweller “We don’t have that many benefits lives in a bungalow off Bukit Timah Road,pung huts or the fragrant leaves that gave tion; and Bukit Timah covers Faber, Toh interviewed expressed any concern about under this Government, no rebates on the prospect of an MRT station withinthe neighbourhood its name. Yi and Toh Guan estates. rising utility bills. conservancy charges, no subsidies. Some walking distance from her home does not Today the swanky district – from Hwa Put together, they make for a very dif- The rising cost of utilities happens to of those living in two- or three-room set her pulse racing. The Tan Kah KeeChong Institution to Sunset Way – is dot- ferent GRC compared with the others be the biggest bugbear of Ms Rebecca flats are richer than us,” gripes adminis- station is part of Stage 2 of the Down-ted with some of the island’s most expen- across the island. One-third of all resi- Tan, who lives in a four-room flat in Buo- trative manager Wendy Thong, 53, who town Line, slated for completion in 2015.sive bungalows and long, winding roads dents here live in private housing, which na Vista. Says the sales executive, 52, in owns an executive flat in Bukit Panjang. She says: “An MRT station will beoften lined with fancy cars. includes the enclaves of the super-rich in Mandarin: “My water and electricity bills “We really are caught in the middle.” quite redundant here, as most households The electoral register here would read District 10. This makes Holland-Bukit have gone up by so much, even though I If you take two hot-button issues – have two cars or more. It will only makelike a Who’s Who of Singapore, ranging Timah arguably the most upper-class con- don’t use an air-conditioner. They say housing and transport – and compare the traffic situation along Bukit Timahfrom top politicians and civil servants to stituency in Singapore. the bill is only an estimate, but that’s still how the two residential groups feel about Road worse during the building period.”corporate chieftains and tycoons. So what does this mean? How differ- taking my money away from me.” them, the differences are starker still. To be sure, some problems cut across Not that Mr de Souza, Singapore’s ent are the concerns of the residents here Other issues cited by the lower-in- Runaway HDB resale prices and a lack classes.youngest MP at age 34, is the least bit from those of their counterparts in the come residents who live in the smaller of new flats constitute the main grouses The immigration issue upsets bothdaunted: “I treat all residents equally. If other GRCs? And how will this socio-eco- flats include the high cost of living, of those living in public housing. groups, albeit for different reasons. Onethey have concerns – no matter who they nomic make-up affect the dynamics of a employer discrimination based on age or Some are renters looking to buy. Oth- cleaner living in an HDB flat in Sunsetare – I will work to address them.” contest in the next general election? race, and the lack of welfare for the old ers have children who have just started Ulu Pandan blends in with the rest of Insight spoke to 100 residents across and needy. working and cannot afford to move out. CONTINUEDHolland-Bukit Timah GRC. Large the five wards in the GRC – half from its “I hope the Government will give old Taking advantage of the boom by selling ON PAGE A30