SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) delivered their constituency political broadcasts for Tampines GRC on Wednesday (Jul 8).
As PAP is the incumbent, the five-member team spoke first. Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, Mr Desmond Choo and Ms Cheng Li Hui spoke in English. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli spoke in English and Malay, while Mr Baey Yam Keng spoke in Mandarin.
For the NSP candidates, party president Reno Fong spoke in English, while Mr Mohd Ridzwan Mohammad spoke in Malay. Their fellow candidates, Mr Yeo Ren-Yuan, Mr Choong Hon Heng and Mr Vincent Ng were present but did not speak.
PAP: PROVIDING HELP WITH JOBS, CREATING AN ECO-TOWN
PAP’s Mr Koh, who replaces Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the team, told residents that his work in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has emphasised the importance of transforming businesses and up-skilling workers to help them prepare for an “uncertain future”.
This is even more crucial in a post-COVID-19 world, he said.
Mr Koh noted that many residents have shared with him their fears and anxieties about jobs and job security. Their anxiety, he said, is understandable in light of the crisis.
“We will work with many of our Tampines businesses to help them weather this pandemic and thrive so that they can provide better services for all of you,” he assured.
He cited the example of a public service centre in Our Tampines Hub, a place where he and Mr Choo, who is NTUC’s assistant secretary-general, can bring in the network and resources of the unions to help residents in their job search.
He added that an upcoming rooftop garden project will also help to “galvanise interest and create interesting job opportunities here in our community”.
Mr Koh touched on upcoming developments, like the planned upgrading of Tampines Central Park, and the development of an agri-food innovation park to create opportunities for innovative agri-tech startups.
This will make Tampines the first eco-town in Singapore, and expand their “sustainability agenda”.
Mr Choo, who spoke next, acknowledged that jobs are “harder to come by” and young families are facing difficult challenges. That is why his team is expanding the network of job placement centres so residents can find community jobs, he added.
To help younger families meet their immediate needs, Mr Choo said that they will expand their care and growth programme.
“There is more that needs to be done. But we cannot do this alone. We will need your support,” he said.
Ms Cheng focused her speech on improvements that PAP made for seniors in the constituency and the work of the town council.
She talked about how a senior daycare centre in Tampines has helped retirees find friends, stay active and fit, and rekindled the “old kampung spirit” in the estate.
On improvements by the town council, Ms Cheng said it has implemented a monitoring system to study the cleaners’ cleaning patterns so as to plan their workflow better.
Mr Masagos, who concluded his team’s speeches, said that they have delivered on their promises.
READ: Our Tampines Hub opens, featuring arts theatre, rooftop pool, town's largest playground
In 1992, the town was given an award by the United Nations, a first here, he said.
Mr Masagos went on to say that the constituency has grown “beautifully” and called Our Tampines Hub an “icon” with world-class facilities.
He added that Mr Koh and the NTUC will “preserve our workers’ security for their jobs”.
“We will make sure those who need support and jobs will get them. Our promise is to keep Tampines our home, special.”
NSP: 14 PROPOSALS FOR GRC
NSP’s Mr Fong drilled down into constituency-specific issues, outlining 14 plans the party has for Tampines GRC.
He said they will review and construct more barrier-free infrastructure for people with disabilities, which includes ramps for easier access, and they will add elderly-friendly facilities like grab handlebars in housing and common spaces.
READ: GE2020: NSP launches manifesto calling for comprehensive medical coverage for all Singaporeans
The team will also work with bus operators to increase the size of the font of bus service number displays and provide an arrival announcement system at bus stops.
Another proposal is to install progressive solar cells to power common facilities.
“This could lessen the conservancy charges paid by the residents,” he said.
Based on the feedback of residents, he wants to improve the overhead sheltered walkways and he also outlined how the party will use technology to keep in touch with residents.
“To implement Meet-The-People Sessions (MPS), we will include a mobile MPS where the residents do not need to travel to the static location,” he said, adding that they will look into having virtual sessions instead.
Residents can also join online discussions before and after parliamentary proceedings, and if they are keen to attend the sessions, Mr Fong said that his team will provide transport arrangements for them.
On the area of jobs, NSP will “call for tenders for service providers and contracts that require staffing with Tampines residents as a priority, matching the job scopes and aspiration of the residents,” he said.
Mr Fong also said that this team will set aside the Member of Parliament (MP) allowance as seed funding, in collaboration with local enterprises, to help the underprivileged.
The party has plans to set up a cooperative and help link up home-based businesses in Tampines so that residents can patronise the products and services.
Lastly, Mr Fong said that they will start a one-stop service centre where residents in need can get help through a precinct-level support group. This is done in collaboration with social service organisations and charity groups.
Wrapping up his speech, Mr Fong spoke about his party’s manifesto, which among other things calls for Goods and Services Tax to be waived on necessities such as cooking oil, rice and diapers.
The NSP’s manifesto also includes protecting the jobs of professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) by revisiting the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. It also aims to provide subsidies to make housing affordable for future generations and reduce the age limit for the withdrawal of funds from the Central Provident Fund.
“Let's do the next right thing. Help us build a kampung spirit in Tampines,” he said.