The 1984 parliamentary general election was held on 22 December to elect 79 members of parliament (MPs). The election date was set after parliament was dissolved on 4 December. Nomination day, which took place on 12 December, saw 49 of the 79 seats contested by 97 candidates from various political parties and three independents. The parties contesting were the People’s Action Party (49 candidates), Workers’ Party (15 candidates), Singapore United Front (13 candidates), United People’s Front (8 candidates), Barisan Sosialis (4 candidates), Singapore Democratic Party (4 candidates), Singapore Justice Party (2 candidates), Islamic Movement (1 candidate) and Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS) (1 candidate).
The PAP’s strategy for the election was to focus on what it had achieved for Singapore since independence, in particular, the country's impressive economic growth and high standard of living. The opposition parties took issue with the government’s proposal to raise the Central Provident Fund withdrawal age, school admission priority accorded to children of graduate mothers, and the increase in the prices of Housing and Development Board flats. They also called for a larger opposition representation in parliament.
The PAP was returned to power, but it lost the parliamentary seats of Anson and Potong Pasir to J. B. Jeyaretnam of the Worker’s Party and Chiam See Tong of the Singapore Democratic Party respectively. PAP’s share of the valid votes also dropped from the 75.6 percent that was achieved in the 1980 general election to 62.9 percent. Lee Hsien Loong, the current Prime Minister of Singapore, made his political debut in this election and was elected as MP for Teck Ghee constituency.
1. Lee, K. C. (1984, December 3). Dec 22 is Polling Day. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Battle begins for next 49. (1984, December 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Chok Tong opens PAP 'second front' in campaign. (1984, December 16). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. When rules can be eased. (1984, December 15). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Opposition attacks CPF proposal. (1984, December 15). The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. PAP wins all but two. (1984, December 23). The Straits Times, p. 1; Mah: SDP win a nation-wide phenomenon. (1984, December 23). The Straits Times, p. 2; Ebb and flow at Anson counting centre. (1984, December 24). The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. The Straits Times, 23 Dec 1984, p. 1.
7. Brig-Gen Lee makes an early thank-you call. (1984, December 24). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2011 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.