It has been two days since the election results were announced but the split is still palpable in Potong Pasir.
And yesterday, the new Member of Parliament Sitoh Yih Pin (picture) for the constituency called on residents to “remain calm” as he promised to make it a “better place to live in” within the next five years.
In reply to questions about the group of residents who still think a by-election is possible, Mr Sitoh told reporters: “An election has already been held in accordance with the constitution and the laws of Singapore.
“For the more than 50 per cent that supported me, I’m grateful and I’ll fulfil all our promises. For those that didn’t support me, the slightly less than 50 per cent, I appeal to you – please remain calm and give us a chance.”
A group of residents have been collecting signatures since Sunday night to petition against the result – a victory for Mr Sitoh and the People’s Action Party over Singapore People’s Party candidate Lina Chiam, by 114 votes.
But the Potong Pasir Town Council is already preparing for the leadership changeover.
Mrs Chiam visited the office yesterday, to bid farewell to staff as several residents stopped by to offer their well-wishes and to present her with a fruit basket.
Some are concerned the town council will cease operations and be merged with the neighbouring Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council. Mr Sitoh described such rumours as “pure speculation”.
He added that it was premature to comment on the matter, as he is meeting the Housing and Development Board to discuss the takeover.
“There are laid-down rules and procedures that have to apply when one takes over the town council after the elections, and we’ll follow strictly to them,” he said.
Some residents said they were looking forward to what Mr Sitoh can do for the constituency and for him to carry out his promises.
A 62-year-old resident who moved to Potong Pasir last year said, for instance, that she had no “emotional attachment” to its former MP of 27 years, Mr Chiam See Tong, and expressed hope that Mr Sitoh would prove himself in due time.
For those who supported Mr Chiam and his wife, what is left are the goodbyes. Mrs Chiam visited more residents last night, continuing her thank-yous from Sunday, when she told supporters that she had congratulated Mr Sitoh for his win and asked them to work with him.