SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) is fielding former Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa in Bukit Panjang SMC, while the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is fielding its chairman Paul Tambyah, it was announced on Tuesday (Jun 30) after Nomination Day proceedings.
Mr Liang replaces Dr Teo Ho Pin, who has been MP for the single-seat ward since 2006 after it was carved out of the former Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC.
Meanwhile, Dr Tambyah, who is also the president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, takes the place of SDP's Khung Wai Yeen, who contested in 2015.
Dr Tambyah had been expected to lead SDP’s Holland-Bukit Timah team this time round, having contested there in 2015 too.
Mr Liang, who said he grew up in Bukit Panjang and lives around the area, thanked Dr Teo for his work.
He pledged to pay complete attention to residents and listen to their feedback on how they want to see the estate being developed. “Focusing on them, engaging them, listening to them,” Mr Liang said.
He said there are two areas he wants to zoom in on, investing into the "continued vibrancy" of Bukit Panjang, and creating more activities and provide more healthcare facilities for the elderly.
This is "so they can enjoy (a) healthy lifestyle", as there is a growing number of seniors living in the estate.
On his part, Dr Tambyah also thanked the residents of Bukit Panjang and asked for their support for SDP’s “Four Yes, One No” proposal, which includes offering worker unemployment insurance and senior citizens retirement incomes.
When asked why he decided to run for the SMC, he said: “We need to find the best candidate for the best location for the best outcome for the people.”
It was a "collective decision" made by SDP's central executive committee and he abstained from the vote, Dr Tambyah noted.
He added that he has received “very positive” feedback after “examining the whole situation (and) walking on the ground”, adding that the division between Bukit Panjang and Bukit Timah "is really very artificial".
"If you go to Gangsa Road, half of the blocks are in Bukit Panjang and half of the blocks are in Bukit Timah. So we have visited many of these blocks on numerous occasions, sometimes we cross over without realising we are in Bukit Panjang."
He said that his party has been engaging residents in Bukit Panjang for many years and are "very familiar" with them.
"It's an area that I personally know pretty well. I have cousins who grew up there. We used to stay over ... it's like coming home," said Dr Tambyah.
In 2015, Dr Teo won the seat for the third time with 68.4 per cent of the 32,106 votes cast. Mr Khung Wai Yeen, who has been a member of SDP’s central executive committee since 2011, garnered 31.6 per cent of the vote.
There are 35,497 eligible voters in Bukit Panjang SMC this General Election.
Mr Ooi Boon Ewe, who is best known for his string of attempts to run for election since 1999, arrived at the nomination centre on Tuesday morning to submit his nomination papers but failed to qualify.