Tanjong Pagar – Historical worker’s turf


When the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew decided to enter politics in 1955, he decided to run in Tanjong Pagar which had a large proportion of labourers – dockworkers and postmen –  living in the area. Clearly, the livelihood and welfare of labourers were at the core of all he did. Through the years, as Prime Minister of Singapore he constantly reiterated that the Government was on the side of the workers.


Fast forward 60 years, Singapore has advanced in its standing and even  Tanjong Pagar has moved on from its early days. Young working adults and their families live in the estate alongside retirees and the pioneer generation of workers who helped build Singapore.

With the General Elections looming just around the corner, the People’s Action Party, which was formed by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, introduced its slate of candidates to defend its seat in the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency.



(From left: Mr Melvin Yong, Ms Indranee Rajah, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Ms Joan Pereira, Dr Chia Shi-Lu)

The team consists of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing, Ms Indranee Rajah, Dr Chia Shi-Lu, and fresh candidates Ms Joan Pereira and Mr Melvin Yong.

Touching on the unique history of the constituency, Chan said: “Tanjong Pagar is a very special place to the whole of Singapore. Its story is the story of Singpore, how it transformed from a difficult environment to what it is today – a mirror of how Singapore went from Third to First World.”

Coincidentally, Minister Chan Chun Sing, who was elected to the position of NTUC secretary general in April this year, is helming the constituency which has historically been a workers’ ward.

In fact, as labour chief, his mission in NTUC is to advocate for better opportunities and better life for all workers and their children.

This somehow echoes true with what he said during the introductory session for the candidates for the coming election. “The kind of leaders we hope for for Singapore are people who care deeply about the welfare and wellbeing of Singaporeans and the country.”

The two leaders speak deeply about the welfare of Singaporeans and its workers. Now, Chan helms the People’s Action Party’s team at a constituency which was once where labourers were based.

Is this coincidence or is it not?


Recommended for you

        »  HOME: Give domestic workers minimum wage
        »  The boundary changes work in the opposition parties’ favour…
        »  HardwareZone forumer lodges police report because…
        »  Let’s ask…how does the Committee of Supply work?
        »  The Devolution of Singapore’s Mainstream Media











About the author

Arthur Lee

View all posts

Share your thoughts!