First to the polling booth, then to the tea ceremony for this couple

* By-election in Marine Parade GRC ———————————-

OH, WHAT a beautiful morning! And what better way to start your wedding day than to cast a vote for your future.

For 32-year-old Sng Yan Meng, walking down the aisle yesterday to the polling booth took precedence over the photo session and the Chinese tea ceremony.

Dressed in a navy blue suit, he arrived at the Block 103 Aljunied Crescent polling station at 9.30 am with his bride, Tea Ling Eian, 24, who was in her bridal white.

Their sartorial finery drew the attention of the Prime Minister, who was at the station at that time. Mr Goh Chok Tong extended his congratulations to the couple.

Mr Sng, a carpenter, said: “We planned our wedding way ahead and did not expect it to coincide with the by-election.”

After voting, he and his wife were whisked off in a Mercedes Benz to the studio.

Mr Sng was one of the many who voted in the morning. By 10am, 25 per cent of the 73,986 voters in the GRC had already cast their vote, said an Elections Department official. By noon, the figure had risen to 45 per cent.

Meanwhile, candidates of the People’s Action Party, Singapore Democratic Party and National Solidarity Party were making their rounds of the polling stations in the four wards – Marine Parade, Joo Chiat, Geylang Serai and MacPherson.

The Prime Minister started his day by dropping in at his Marine Parade branch at 8.30am. Then he made his way to several polling stations, including stops at Tanjong Katong Girls’ school, Aljunied Crescent and MacPherson Community Club.

Accompanied by party activists and occasionally by the other PAP candidates, Mr Goh exchanged pleasantries and chatted with residents.

Later, when asked how he felt after visiting the various polling stations, he said: “I feel very good. The warmth is there and I think the people in Marine Parade are sensible. I have faith in them and I believe they have faith in me.”

The opposition candidates were also making their presence felt. NSP candidate Ken Sunn and SDP candidate Ashleigh Seow were seen at the polling station at the Block 31 void deck, Marine Crescent.

Yesterday was also a big day for many first-time voters. Mr Abdul Yazid, 21, a national serviceman, said:

“This is the first and best opportunity for me to choose the most appropriate leader to lead Singapore into the future. I have the key to vote for the right party.”

Miss Farah Latiff, 21, who had just completed her A-levels, said: “I could not sleep very well last night as I was just so excited about voting for the first time. I really thought very carefully over which party to vote for. I will vote for the one which serves Singapore’s interests best. Guess?”

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