1984 Singaporean general election
General elections were held in Singapore on 22 December 1984. The result was a victory for the People's Action Party, which won 77 of the 79 seats, marking the first time since 1963 that at least one opposition candidate was elected to parliament, although the first presence of opposition was in 1981. Excluding the 30 uncontested constituencies, the voter turnout was 95.6%, with 63.2% of the total electorate casting their votes.
79 (Only 49 contested) seats to the Parliament of Singapore
40 seats needed for a majority
In his 1983 National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew lamented that declining birth rates and large number of graduate women remaining single or not marrying their intellectual equal could see Singapore's talent pool shrink. The PAP government then proceeded to launch the "Graduate Mother Scheme" to entice graduate women with incentives to get married.
In March 1984, Health Minister Howe Yoon Chong released a controversial proposal to raise the age for the withdrawal of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings from 55 to 60 years. At a news conference on 26 March 1984, Howe reasoned that Singaporeans could not depend only on their children in their old age. That suggestion, part of the 54-page report of the Committee on the Problems of the Aged which he chaired, was eventually dropped. Taking up the suggestions in the report, the Singapore Government subsequently introduced the Minimum Sum scheme. This allows workers to withdraw some of their CPF funds at age 55, setting aside a certain minimum sum which can only be withdrawn at retirement age, currently at 62 years.
The proposals sparked debate and uproar in the Singapore electorate and were said to have caused a big dip in PAP's support and its share of votes plunged by more than 10% to below 70%, the biggest fall and the lowest for PAP since the 1963 General Election.
Changes during the parliamentary term 1980-1984Edit
No by-election was held for the seat of Havelock, vacated in 1983 upon the death of Minister of Finance Hon Sui Sen, for the reason that the constituency will be redrawn and merged into Delta constituency.
Significant events in the 1984 electionEdit
PM Lee's son Lee Hsien Loong (who went on to become the nation's third (and current) Prime Minister) made his debut in the seat of Teck Ghee, while PAP stalwarts Dr Goh Keng Swee and Ong Pang Boon stepped down. In the only election among several preceding and succeeding ones, the election deposit ($1,500) remained unchanged. The Workers' Party of Singapore (WP) secretary-general J. B. Jeyaretnam successfully retained the Anson constituency with an increase of majority, while the Singapore Democratic Party made its first in-road into Parliament with the victory of Chiam See Tong, who would serve the Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency for the next 26 years until 2011. A new Non-Constituency Member of Parliament scheme was introduced whereby between three and six seats, the exact number which was decided by the President of Singapore, would be offered to unsuccessful opposition candidates with the best scores and who garner at least 15% of the votes if any one party wins all the seats, subtracting one NCMP seat for every one opposition MP elected. Opposition parties dismissed the scheme for misleading voters into thinking that they could have opposition MPs without voting for them. M.P.D. Nair of WP was the first to be offered but declined. The offer was then made to Singapore United Front's Tan Chee Kien, who also declined, and no further offers were made.
|Tuesday 4 December||Dissolution of the 5th Parliament|
|Wednesday 12 December||Nomination Day. 130 candidates were nominated, PAP won 30 uncontested seats.|
|Saturday 22 December||Polling day for 49 contested seats. PAP won all but 2 seats.|
|Monday 25 February 1985||First meeting of the 6th Parliament|
Changes to ConstituenciesEdit
The newer constituencies are those with rapid developments of Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Jurong East, Bedok & Jurong West (smaller developments), while other constituencies were dissolved, which was reflected in the table:
|Bo Wen||Formed from Ang Mo Kio, Kebun Baru & Yio Chu Kang|
|Changkat||Formed from Tampines & Kaki Bukit|
|Eunos||Formed fromf Kaki Bukit & Tampines|
|Fengshan||Formed from Bedok, Kampong Chai Chee & Tanah Merah|
|Hong Kah||Formed from Boon Lay|
|Teck Ghee||Formed from Ang Mo Kio & Chong Boon|
|Yuhua||Formed from Boon Lay & Bukit Timah|
|Bukit Ho Swee||Absorbed to Tiong Bahru and Kim Seng|
|Havelock||Absorbed to Delta|
|Katong||Absorbed to Joo Chiat and Mountbatten|
|Outgoing MPs||New MPs|
^Note : A caret indicates that the constituency was removed and absorbed to other wards.
|People's Action Party||568,310||64.8||77||+2|
|Singapore United Front||87,197||9.9||0||0|
|Singapore Democratic Party||32,102||3.7||1||+1|
|United People's Front||27,217||3.1||0||0|
|Singapore Justice Party||10,906||1.2||0||0|
|Singapore Malay National Organisation||4,768||0.5||0||0|
|Source: Nohlen et al.|
- Dieter Nohlen; Florian Grotz; Christof Hartmann (15 November 2001). Elections in Asia and the Pacific : A Data Handbook: Volume II: South East Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific. OUP Oxford. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-19-924959-6.
- Committee on the Problems of the Aged (1984). Problems of the Aged : Report of the Committee on the Problems of the Aged. Singapore: Ministry of Health. ISBN 9971-88-022-9.
- "Former Cabinet Minister Howe Yoon Chong dies at age 84". Channel NewsAsia. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- "Late Howe Yoon Chong cared deeply for country's development: PM Lee". Channel NewsAsia. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.