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GE2020: PM Lee joins new PAP candidate Yip Hon Weng on Yio Chu Kang walkabout

SINGAPORE — People’s Action Party (PAP) secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong hit the campaign trail with the party’s candidate for Yio Chu Kang Single Member Constituency Yip Hon Weng on Friday (July 3) morning, as he checked in on the latter’s progress in the campaign.

GE2020: PM Lee joins new PAP candidate Yip Hon Weng on Yio Chu Kang walkabout

Mr Lee Hsien Loong (right) and Mr Yip Hon Weng (left) did not address the media, but sat down together to chat about the new candidate’s campaign so far, talking over coffee and tea served by one of the stalls.

SINGAPORE — People’s Action Party (PAP) secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong hit the campaign trail with the party’s candidate for Yio Chu Kang Single Member Constituency Yip Hon Weng on Friday (July 3) morning, as he checked in on the latter’s progress in the campaign.

Mr Lee, who is also the Prime Minister, had also been out and about at Ang Mo Kio Hub on Wednesday, on what he called a “jalan jalan”, which was his first since the circuit breaker measures began in May.

Mr Lee and Mr Yip did not address the media, but sat down together to chat about the new candidate’s campaign so far, talking over coffee and tea served by one of the stalls.

Mr Yip, 43, is a former civil servant who was formerly group chief of the Agency for Integrated Care’s Silver Generation Office. The community in the SMC is tightly knit and is home to a large population of senior residents, said Mr Yip in response to Mr Lee, who had asked about the constituency’s demographic.

Over the past few days of campaigning, he has covered 31 out of the 69 blocks in Yio Chu Kang, including some condominiums whose residents have good relations with PAP activists on the ground. He intends to cover the remaining 38 blocks in the coming days, he told Mr Lee.

To Mr Lee’s question if he can cover the remaining blocks and some landed areas, Mr Yip said he can, adding: “Most of the time I’m running from one house to the next.” 

Mr Yip also said that he has done some video blogs to engage residents, adding that he is often asked what he plans to do for the ward.

“You must give them a good answer,” Mr Lee added.

The candidate replied: “My answer is that it’s not about the programmes which I want to introduce here.

“It is more important for the next few weeks and the next few months, to listen to residents, to understand their needs, to put myself in their shoes and see what they want... before we start coming up with programmes,” he said.

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Mr Yip faces Ms Kayla Low from the Progress Singapore Party in Yio Chu Kang, which is a new SMC in this General Election carved out of Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency, where Mr Lee is the incumbent MP.

As residents queued for their breakfast and shopped for groceries at Ang Mo Kio 628 Market and Food Centre, many quickly put aside their morning routines when they noticed the small commotion created by Mr Lee’s presence, whipping out their mobile phones to take photos of the white-clad PAP duo who were greeting stallholders and bumping fists with residents.

Some residents, however, kept a wide berth from the candidates’ contingent of party activists and the media, due to safe distancing concerns amid the pandemic.

A perambulating lorry, outfitted with loudspeakers and plastered with PAP posters and banners, and which circled the market several times, helpfully provided an audio backdrop to the campaigning.

Said one resident, Mr G T Lim, in his 60s, who was sipping coffee with his friends: “They say it is an Internet election, but where got? It feels like elections (in the past).”

Besides Mr Lee, other PAP heavyweights also went on walkabouts around their contested constituencies on Friday morning. 

‪Mr Heng Swee Keat from the People’s Action Party speaks to a resident during a walkabout at Block 216 Bedok Food Centre and Market on Friday, July 3, 2020. Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY

At East Coast GRC, first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat joined new face Tan Kiat How, as well as incumbent MP Lee Yi Shyan in a morning walkabout at Block 216 Bedok Food Centre and Market.

Both Mr Heng and Mr Tan are standing for election in the constituency for the first time, with Mr Heng leaving Tampines GRC in a surprise move on Nomination Day. Mr Lee Yi Shyan is not seeking re-election.

Said Mr Heng to the media on his move to East Coast GRC: “The fact that I'm here doesn't mean that we are only taking East Coast GRC seriously — we take every contest in every SMC and every GRC seriously.

“What we hope to do is to get the support of Singaporeans so that we can focus on the key issues ahead.”

Related topics

SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election Lee Hsien Loong Yio Chu Kang SMC Heng Swee Keat East Coast GRC

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