SINGAPORE – Hours after the final results of Friday’s (July 10) general election were announced, candidates from a number of winning PAP teams were out visiting markets and hawker centres to thank residents for their support.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and his East Coast GRC team members, Dr Maliki Osman, Ms Jessica Tan, Ms Cheryl Chan and Mr Tan Kiat How – who got 53.41 per cent of the vote against a Workers’ Party team – were out in Bedok, where they met residents having breakfast or buying groceries.
Mr Tan, the former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, said in a Facebook post to residents on Saturday: “Work starts immediately. Looking into the matters that you have brought to my attention.”
The East Coast GRC team saw their vote share dip 7 percentage points from the 2015 election, less than the slide in the popular vote nationwide.
In Tampines GRC, where Mr Heng was an MP for the past two terms, the team led by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, including Dr Koh Poh Koon, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Mr Desmond Choo and Ms Cheng Li Hui, walked around neighbourhood markets and coffee shops to meet residents.
Some approached them for autographs and photos, while others shared their views on the elections and concerns they had – and their newly-elected representatives took down details to follow up on.
The PAP won 66.41 per cent of the votes, a dip from the 72.01 per cent it got in 2015, against a team of challengers from the National Solidarity Party.
Mr Masagos told reporters: “This is the time for us to go out and assure everybody that after winning the election, it is time for us to provide the services, deliver on the promises that we have said that we will do in our manifesto.”
He also emphasised that new amenities in the town will be built within the “framework of sustainability” so as to reduce waste and play a part to save the planet.
Mr Masagos noted the uncertain economic situation caused by Covid-19, and said Dr Koh, who is Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and deputy secretary-general of NTUC, as well as North East District Mayor Desmond Choo, will be working together with Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who chairs the National Jobs Council that is seeking to create 100,000 new upgraded jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.
Mr Masagos said: “Our team will be looking at how to put that on the ground, so that we can also tap on the local enterprises to help the people who are affected, at least temporarily, to fend for themselves.”
Tampines resident Michelle Low, 33, said of the PAP team: “They really take care of the residents very well. Every feedback that we send is well received, and they will always reply us very promptly”.
Mr Syafiq Saniff, 32, and his wife, Ms Faeezah Mahmood, 33, who have two children and have been living in Tampines all their lives, said they were appreciative of amenities that have come up in the past five years, such as Our Tampines Hub that was opened in 2017 as well as the Downtown Line.
But the couple hoped more support can be available for working parents, including financial support for childcare and education needs.
Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who helms the PAP team in Tanjong Pagar GRC, and team members Indranee Rajah, Joan Pereira, Alvin Tan and Eric Chua also visited residents in the constituency.
They got 63.13 per cent of the vote against a Progress Singapore Party team, a 14 percentage point drop from their 2015 result.
Mr Chan wrote in a Facebook post: “Work continues today to better take care of our residents… The hard work never ends. It is not a nine-day affair.”
“Whoever our residents voted for, our commitment is to all residents of Tanjong Pagar and all Singaporeans,” he added.
He also thanked volunteers, activists and supporters for being the backbone of the PAP team in Tanjong Pagar, saying: “Many of them have been with us for many years. They sacrifice their personal time because they share the same belief as us – that we have to take care of our residents to the best of our abilities.
“Without them, we would never be able to serve our residents as effectively. They are not just volunteering for us. They are volunteering to serve all our residents.”
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