SINGAPORE: In speeches aired on Monday (Jul 6), the People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate in Mountbatten SMC highlighted his engagement with residents to improve their lives, while his opponent from Peoples Voice (PV) said the Government’s interests are often forced on the people.
The PAP’s Lim Biow Chuan and PV’s Sivakumaran Chellappa, both 57, were delivering their constituency political broadcasts. As the incumbent, Mr Lim’s address went first.
PAP: CONTACT WITH RESIDENTS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING CONCERNS
Having served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mountbatten for the past 14 years, Mr Lim said he has met many residents during community and house visits, at the food centre and “sometimes when I walk alone” in the estate.
“The purpose of making myself available is to hear your views, understand your concerns and hear your aspirations,” he said. “Through these contact points, I’m better able to reflect your views to the government and to suggest improvements to government policies.”
He recounted four instances in which residents’ feedback was taken into consideration to improve the estate.
First, he was able to persuade the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to build a pair of lifts at the pedestrian overhead bridge along Jalan Batu so the elderly could cross the road without having to strain themselves.
Second, he asked the LTA to improve the safety of the Marine Parade roundabout after a fatal accident occurred there.
Third, he got the LTA to raise the zebra crossing along Tanjong Rhu Road because many cars were speeding there.
Finally, he asked the National Parks Board to improve the park connector along the riverside.
“One of the most important roles of an MP is to listen and to engage with the residents,” he said.
“The contact points allow residents to know you personally as an MP. Are you approachable? Are you sincere? Are you willing to listen to different views? And do you have the heart to serve the people?”
PV: MP SHOULD "PROJECT" PEOPLE’S ASPIRATIONS TO GOVERNMENT
Mr Chellappa, a first-time candidate and private educator specialising in mathematics, said an MP must “serve the interests of the people and their aspirations, by projecting (them) to the Government”.
“Very often, it’s the other way around,” he added. “The Government’s interest is forced upon the people.”
Such instances occur mainly in “job-related matters and population-related matters”, he cited.
Having grown up in Singapore in the 1970s and 80s, he saw Singaporeans “progress economically”, but he said the situation “(took) a deviation” in the late 90s and the early part of this century.
“The deviation was gradual at first and drastic thereafter, and now getting worse by the day,” he added.
“What are we to do? We should collectively seek answers as to why all these are happening. We must scrutinise the matter and look for areas which should need improvement.”
Mr Chellappa said his search for answers got him involved in politics. He joined the Peoples Voice, a party “in sync with my line of thought”.
“We put our minds together and analysed the people's plight. Very often, we found that there were areas that needed to be seriously addressed,” he said.
“We’ve put our minds together and sought clarity in the economic and political happenings of the day. We’re determined to point out the flaws and the misconceived notions in the interests of the people and have them corrected.”
Mountbatten is home to 24,267 eligible voters this year.