The 1992 parliamentary by-election was held on 19 December 1992 to elect four members of parliament (MPs) for the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC). It was called by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in his own constituency after he and three of his People’s Action Party (PAP) colleagues had resigned as MPs for the Marine Parade GRC on 1 December.
As the by-election was held barely 16 months after the parliamentary general election in August 1991, there were questions raised as to why Goh picked his own constituency and also the timing of the by-election. In response, Goh explained that he did not want to take any risks as both deputy prime ministers were suffering from cancer at the time, and thus selected the constituency that would give his party the highest chances of winning. Goh also iterated that he was looking at “political self-renewal” by getting more people of “ministerial calibre” to join the PAP and the government. One of these potential ministers was Teo Chee Hean, the former chief of the Singapore navy, who was fielded as a PAP candidate in the by-election. In addition, Goh also wanted to fulfil a promise he had made at the 1991 general election, which was to hold a by-election in 12 to 18 months’ time. The by-election would also give J. B. Jeyaretnam of the Workers’ Party a chance to contest a seat in parliament. Jeyaretnam, who won the Anson by-election in 1981, was unable to contest in the 1991 general election as it was held two months before his parliamentary ban expired.
On 9 December, nomination day, the Workers’ Party candidates failed to file their nomination papers to contest in the by-election. Instead, Goh and his PAP team were challenged by the Singapore Democratic Party, the National Solidarity Party and the Singapore Justice Party. The PAP won the by-election by a comfortable margin, capturing 72.9 percent of the votes cast. After the election, Goh and his fellow team members were sworn into parliament on 18 January 1993.
1. Chuang, P. M. (1992, December 3). PM calls by-election in his own ward. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Chuang, P. M. (1992, December 10). PM tells why he picked his own ward. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Chuang, P. M. (1992, December 4). A politically shrewd manoeuvre. The Business Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Teo, A. (1992, December 10). No-show by WP man makes it a four-party contest. The Straits Times, p. 1; Four-cornered fight in Marine Parade GRC. (1992, December 10). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. 73% resounding win for PM Goh. (1992, December 20). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. PM Goh and team sworn in. (1993, January 19). The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2013 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.