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Amy Khor sees GE as test, pledges greater community engagement

SINGAPORE — Although she will be seeking her fourth term as a Member of Parliament, Senior Minister of State (Health and Manpower) Amy Khor, who will defend her single-seat ward in Hong Kah North, said she is not taking any chances.

PAP candidate for Hong Kah North SMC Amy Khor thanks a constituent (left) for his support at a press conference on 21 August, 2015. Photo: Jason Quah

PAP candidate for Hong Kah North SMC Amy Khor thanks a constituent (left) for his support at a press conference on 21 August, 2015. Photo: Jason Quah

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SINGAPORE — Although she will be seeking her fourth term as a Member of Parliament, Senior Minister of State (Health and Manpower) Amy Khor, who will defend her single-seat ward in Hong Kah North, said she is not taking any chances.

“Every election is a new election. It’s just like a test,” said Dr Khor, 57, who is likely to face a Singapore People’s Party (SPP) candidate in the coming General Election (GE).

Speaking at the void deck of Block 325, Bukit Batok Street 33 today (Aug 21), Dr Khor unveiled plans for the constituency, which comprises Bukit Batok West and Jurong West, if she is re-elected.

Among her top priorities: Communicating with residents and having a better understanding of their needs by setting up “listening points”.

The plan, similar to an initiative started by government feedback arm REACH last year, will see volunteers helming booths at community events, coffee shops and void decks and explaining government policies.

“I want to listen more widely and deeply to residents’ concerns, especially those who may not speak out during dialogues or (during) our house and coffee shop visits or online,” said Dr Khor, who is also REACH chairman.

She also promised to ramp up the Senior Befrienders’ Programme from its current pool of 10 resident volunteers to 40. Volunteers will visit residents aged 65 and above at least twice a month.

Also on the cards is a new five-year rolling constituency plan: The Home Improvement Programme for the remaining 44 eligible blocks in the ward, and the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme for 32 blocks in Jurong West.

Estimated to cost more than S$80 million, the programmes will be covered fully by the town council and the Housing and Development Board.

In the 2011 GE, Dr Khor also had a rolling constituency plan. Since then, more than S$95 million worth of new and upgraded facilities and amenities have either been completed or are under construction. For example, 20 blocks have been completed under the Home Improvement Programme, while another 24 are under construction.

“I’ve been able to fulfil the promises that I’ve made in the last election. It’s altogether very satisfying because I’m able to see that we can make a difference,” said the mother of three, who entered politics in 2001.

In 2011, she defeated SPP chairman Sin Kek Tong, garnering 70.61 per cent of the votes.

A post-election expenses report showed that Dr Khor spent about S$77,770 for her campaign, making her the biggest spender among the candidates for single-member constituencies in the polls.

“We’re very mindful that there is a cap in spending. We spend on what we need to spend. We also want to be prudent,” she said.

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Amy Khor Singapore People's Party election Politics

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