Singapore poll losers consider legal step

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 January, 1997, 12:00am

Defeated opposition candidates voiced puzzlement and dismay yesterday at their crushing election defeat by Singapore's ruling People's Action Party.

In the aftermath of polling day, Workers' Party leader Joshua Jeyaretnam said he and colleagues were asking themselves why voters had apparently switched allegiance in a key constituency.

He said they might legally challenge the result in Cheng San, where Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had staked his reputation on defeating rival Tang Liang Hoong, whom he had depicted as a 'Chinese chauvinist'.

Mr Goh's crushing win - the opposition lost two of the four seats it had held in 1991 and the ruling party's share of the vote rose three points to 65 per cent - left him in confident mood.

The scale of the victory means there are unlikely to be any challengers for his job in the foreseeable future.

He characterised Thursday's result as a rejection of 'Western-style liberal democracy and freedoms'.