The 2001 parliamentary general election was held on 3 November to elect 84 members of parliament, of whom 74 were from 14 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and nine from single-member constituencies. It was called after parliament was dissolved on 18 October. Similar to the 1991 and 1999 general elections, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) was returned to power on 25 October, nomination day, following walkovers in 55 of the 84 seats. In total, two independent candidates and 57 party candidates contested the remaining 29 seats. There were 29 candidates from the PAP, 13 from the Singapore Democratic Alliance, 11 from the Singapore Democratic Party, and two each from the Democratic People's Party and the Workers’ Party.
The 2001 election was held amid a global economic recession and rising security concerns in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Through its campaign slogan, “A People United”, the PAP called on Singaporeans to remain cohesive and united at a time of uncertainty. The ruling party also reminded the people of its proven track record in governing the country since 1965, and urged them to place their trust in the PAP to lead the country safely into the future. The opposition, on the other hand, tried to capitalise on rising unemployment to expand its presence in parliament.
The PAP scored a resounding victory in this election by capturing 82 of the 84 seats and 75.3 percent of the valid votes cast, which was an increase of 10.3 percentage points over the 65 percent that was achieved in the 1997 general election. Chiam See Tong of the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Low Thia Kiang of the Workers’ Party retained their seats of Potong Pasir and Hougang respectively. Steve Chia of the Singapore Democratic Party was appointed as a Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP). This was Goh Chok Tong’s last election as prime minister of Singapore as he subsequently handed over the premiership to Lee Hsien Loong in August 2004.
1. Henson, B. (2001, October 19). S’pore goes to polls on Nov 3. The Straits Times, p. 1; Henson, B. (2001, October 18). 84 seats for GE, no 4-member GRCs. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Fernandez, W. (2001, October 26). PAP sweeps 55 seats. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Battle lines: Where the contests are. (2001, October 26). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Teo, A. (2001, October 20). PAP opts for a sombre slogan: A People United. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Chua, L. H. (2001, October 26). What's this general election all about? The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Zuraidah Ibrahim. (2001, November 4). 73.5% resounding win for PAP. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Nail-biting finish for Chiam in Potong Pasir. (2001, November 4). The Straits Times, p. 2; Workers’ Party retains Hougang seat. (2001, November 4). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Chia’s call. (2001, November 5). The Straits Times, p. 3; Because he wanted Prof Low’s rival as NCMP. (2001, November 27). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Zuraidah Ibrahim. (2004, August 13). Let us shape our future together. The Straits Times, p. 1. 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.