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GE2020 constituency broadcasts: What West Coast GRC candidates have to say

SINGAPORE — Candidates from the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) in the race for West Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC) set out their plans for voters on Wednesday (July 8).

Candidates from the People’s Action Party (top) and the Progress Singapore Party (bottom) are contesting for five seats at West Coast Group Representation Constituency.

Candidates from the People’s Action Party (top) and the Progress Singapore Party (bottom) are contesting for five seats at West Coast Group Representation Constituency.

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SINGAPORE — Candidates from the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) in the race for West Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC) set out their plans for voters on Wednesday (July 8).

They were speaking in a constituency political broadcast aired on the last day of the campaign, with Polling Day set to take place on Friday.

The five-men PAP team is led by Mr S Iswaran, 58; Ms Foo Mee Har, 54; former Jurong GRC Members of Parliament (MP) Desmond Lee, 43, and Ang Wei Neng, 53; as well as new face Rachel Ong, 47.

Mr Iswaran said that on top of the Enhancement for Active Seniors (Ease) programme, which has made residents’ flats barrier-free, constituents can look forward to lifts at three pedestrian overhead bridges. These will make it easier for elders to cross the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE).

Mr Ang said that a new multi-storey medical service centre for seniors will be built opposite West Coast Park to meet the needs of the ageing population.

PSP is fielding its secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock, 80, who is joined by Mr Leong Mun Wai, 60, Ms Hazel Poa, 50, Mr Nadarajah Loganathan, 57, and Mr Jeffrey Khoo, 51. 

Dr Tan said that the country must draw on a “community spirit”, like the one he helped build when he was a 26-year MP for Ayer Rajah Single Member Constituency (SMC) —which is now part of West Coast GRC — to tide through challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must now adapt to new ways of working and living. New solutions. We need to think out-of-the-box, not more of the same top-down approach practised by the PAP, where the Government tells you what to do and expects you to follow without questioning,” he said.

West Coast GRC has more than 140,000 voters this GE, after absorbing the Nanyang division of Chua Chu Kang GRC and the Jurong West section of Hong Kah North Single Member Constituency (SMC).

In these constituency political broadcasts, candidates vying for single-seat wards have three minutes each to speak. Those contesting in four- and five-member GRCs have 12 and 15 minutes respectively in total.

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

PAP’S PROPOSALS

  • Mr Iswaran, who served on the National Jobs Council, said that its Jobs@West Coast initiative, which will offer job opportunities and career guidance at community centres, complements the Government’s aim of creating 100,000 jobs and training opportunities for mid-career workers and fresh graduates.

  • Ms Foo said that transport connectivity in the constituency will be transformed with the Jurong Region Line, which will connect the precinct to the rest of Jurong and Singapore. It is going to be the seventh MRT line on the island.

  • Mr Lee said that the Covid-19 Support Grant has been launched to not only offer financial assistance to individuals affected by the pandemic, but also link them up for job support or training.

  • Ms Ong said that the number of preschool places across West Coast GRC has increased about 36 per cent from 2015, and residents with household income below S$3,000 may pay fees as low as S$3 a month at government-supported preschools. She added that the team will continue to provide sufficient preschool places and affordable childcare.

  • Mr Ang said that the team will further reduce the burden of medical expenses for low-income residents and has recently launched a free medical escort plan, which provides complimentary transportation for elders in wheelchairs who need to go to the hospital for physical examination.

To wrap up the segment, Mr Iswaran said: “If elected to serve you again, we will continue to work actively on the ground to protect your lives and livelihoods, and care for you and your family. That is our promise to you.”

PSP’S PROPOSALS

  • Stressing that he is “back home in the West Coast” and brings with him experience as past chairman of the Jurong East Town Council and South West Community Development Council, Dr Tan said that his team members who have “fresh ideas” can “rekindle the West Coast spirit, where solutions come from ground up”.

  • Mr Khoo laid out three of PSP’s plans for West Coast GRC. The first is a plan to offer and promote jobs at the town council for those living in the constituency. PSP will also work closely with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help match their job vacancies with residents.

  • The second is in a plan to create communities of start-ups and SMEs and help them grow with financial, office management and legal support. As an example, Mr Khoo said that his team can help these firms participate in government procurement and develop in overseas markets.

  • The third idea is to transform void deck areas of public housing blocks into co-working spaces with telecommunication facilities to help those facing difficulties working from home due to a lack of space and privacy. Working from home is going to be the new norm for some due to the Covid-19 outbreak. “From reading corners for kids, we now have working corners for adults,” Mr Khoo said.

  • On national issues, Mr Loganathan said that his party aims to prioritise jobs for Singaporeans by proposing a review of employment passes that are granted to foreign employees, to see how available positions can be filled by unemployed or retrenched Singaporeans instead.

Mr Leong urged voters to cast their vote without fearing that the PAP will be out of power in a "freak election". He said: “You can actually get the best of both worlds — a strong PAP government and a strong alternative voice. Don’t shortchange yourself. You deserve better.”

Related topics

Singapore General Election SGVotes2020 political broadcast West Coast GRC PSP PAP

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