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GE2020 constituency broadcasts: What Tampines GRC candidates have to say

SINGAPORE — Candidates from the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) gunning for the Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC) sketched out their plans for voters on Wednesday (July 8).

Candidates from the People’s Action Party (top) and the National Solidarity Party (bottom) are contesting for five seats at Tampines Group Representation Constituency.

Candidates from the People’s Action Party (top) and the National Solidarity Party (bottom) are contesting for five seats at Tampines Group Representation Constituency.

SINGAPORE — Candidates from the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) gunning for the Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC) sketched out their plans for voters on Wednesday (July 8).

They were speaking in constituency political broadcasts aired on the final day of the General Election (GE) campaign, with Polling Day set for Friday.

The five-member Tampines GRC has 151,708 voters this GE.  

Leading the PAP effort in the constituency is party vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli, 57. He took over from Mr Heng Swee Keat, 59, who has moved to the fiercely contested East Coast GRC.

His team members are incumbents Desmond Choo, 42, Cheng Li Hui, 44, and Baey Yam Keng, 49. They are joined this time by Dr Koh Poh Koon, who is making his debut in the constituency, having moved from Ang Mo Kio GRC where he was first elected Member of Parliament in 2015.

Mr Masagos said that the team intends to turn Tampines into Singapore's first “eco town”, and outlined its five-year master plan, which includes keeping the town green and building more facilities and parks. He added that the team will also ensure support and jobs are provided to residents who need them. 

PAP goes head-to-head with an NSP team headed by its president Reno Fong, 51. In his team are NSP vice-president Mohamad Ridzwan, 58, and Mr Vincent Ng, 48 — both of whom are making their electoral debuts — as well as Mr Choong Hon Heng, 49, and Mr Eugene Yeo, 44.

Mr Choong contested Tampines GRC in 2015 and Mr Yeo was part of an NSP team in Sembawang that year.

While all five members were present for the broadcast, only Mr Fong and Mr Ridzwan delivered speeches. 

Mr Fong said that his team has continued to reach out to voters in Tampines GRC in the last five years. While it is an uphill task for all opposition parties to compete against PAP, he added that his team had stepped forward to allow residents to have “a voice, a choice”. 

In constituency political broadcasts, candidates contesting five-member GRCs have 15 minutes of airtime. Those in the race for four-member GRCs have 12 minutes to speak.

Candidates vying for single-seat wards each have three minutes on the air. 

The broadcasts are being shown on Mediacorp’s Channel 5, CNA938, cna.asia, 8world.com, CNA YouTube, CNA Facebook and TODAY at 7pm from July 3 to 8.

PAP’S PROPOSALS

  • Dr Koh, who is deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, said that to support residents in their job searches, the team will channel resources from the unions to the public service centre at Our Tampines Hub, a community and lifestyle complex. He added that his team will work to make Tampines the first eco town in Singapore.

  • Mr Baey recalled that constituents contributed to an education bursary, which uses money raised from a Chinese edition of a book he published three years ago. “Although the bursary sum given to (the beneficiaries) is not a lot, it is part of a lot of people’s love, and based on everyone’s conviction, to contribute regardless of race, religion or language,” he said in Mandarin. 

  • Mr Choo said that the network of job placement centres in Tampines will be expanded to include community jobs at places such as its upcoming commercial rooftop vegetable farm.

  • Ms Cheng said that the Tampines Town Council has set up a monitoring system to study cleaners’ cleaning patterns. This will help the council plan workflow better to improve the cleanliness of the estate. 

  • Mr Masagos said that some Tampines residents came together during the circuit breaker from April to June to sew masks for the needy and deliver food to seniors. This “Tampines together” spirit is special to the town and is needed to overcome the economic downturn, he added.

In his concluding statements, Mr Masagos said: “At the end of the day, we will cherish our collective memories of going through this crisis with the ‘Tampines together’ spirit.” 

NSP’S PROPOSALS

  • Mr Fong said that his party is looking at ways to ensure that Singapore’s professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) have a level playing field when it comes to employment, noting that the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has disadvantaged PMETs in Singapore who are entering the workforce and his party is pushing for it to be abolished. 

  • Mr Fong also said that his team is also studying how to increase the liveable space in government-built flats and explore cost subsidies to provide affordable housing for the country’s future generations.

  • Mr Ridzwan repeated the party’s objection to any increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and is looking at making basic necessities, such as rice and cooking oil, GST-free.

  • He added that NSP is also calling for citizens’ legal rights to be honoured by allowing them to withdraw their Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions at age 55 and to stop increases in the withdrawal age. The payout eligibility age is now 65, in line with the rise in the retirement age.

  • Mr Fong said that if elected, his team will roll out a town development plan, including constructing more barrier-free facilities for people with disabilities and elder-friendly facilities in housing and common areas, and improving walkways and overhead shelters. 

Mr Fong said: “We respect the decision of the voters who had not voted us, but we hope you can have a change of heart come Polling Day on July 10.”

Related topics

Singapore General Election SGVotes2020 political broadcast Tampines GRC PAP NSP

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