SINGAPORE: In the constituency political broadcast for Yuhua SMC on Wednesday (Jul 8), People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Grace Fu emphasised the party’s values such as integrity and fairness, while Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate Robin Low spoke of the need to find more cost-effective solutions to problems.
SHARED VALUES: GRACE FU
As the incumbent, Ms Fu’s address was broadcast first. She noted how she was the final PAP candidate to speak in the series of constituency political broadcasts, and addressed comments that the party’s representatives “sound the same, look the same”.
“Indeed, we are consistent - in that we are pragmatic (and) trustworthy. We do what we say, and we will only say what we will do,” said Ms Fu.
Ms Fu, who is also the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said candidates from the PAP share “important values” such as integrity, fairness and service.
PAP candidates deliver on their promises and are also honest about the problems and constraints they face, she said.
“We do not trade your future for short-term political gains,” she said.
PAP candidates are also driven by “fairness to all races, faiths and segments” and are motivated to serve Singaporeans and Singapore, she added.
“We are motivated to serve the people and not have the people serve our political gains,” she said.
“These common values form the basis of what we do and what we say. It is important to examine the values of the candidates, for the values will guide actions,” said Ms Fu.
While PAP candidates share these values and therefore sometimes “sound the same”, they each have “unique and interesting backgrounds, views and personalities”, said Ms Fu.
“Our diversity will ensure that your views are heard, understood, and presented in policymaking,” she said.
During her speech, Ms Fu spoke of the 14 years she represented Yuhua, beginning from 2006 when the single-seat ward was part of Jurong GRC.
“You have seen me around - in the coffee shops, in the markets, jogging at Jurong Lake,” she said.
“I take my responsibility as your MP seriously. I will put your interests as my priority, serve and support you to the best of my ability,” she said.
“The next five years will be a challenging time for all of us. Our lives, our jobs, and our future are at stake. This is not a time for trial and error. Please vote wisely. Please vote carefully.”
MORE COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS: ROBIN LOW
The SDP’s Mr Low began his address by speaking of the “challenging situation” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risks of holding an election during such a time.
“Even when everyone's wearing a mask, a 66-year-old Singaporean who works at a dormitory infected his family, and within four days infected others in his block in Tampines,” he said, referring to a cluster of COVID-19 cases discovered last month.
“Imagine, just one infected person going to the polls may easily cause others to be infected despite safeguards,” said Mr Low.
In his speech, Mr Low also said that “PAP does not have solutions for this new world” and that its “old formula” of inviting multinational corporations into the country and “flooding the country with cheap foreign labour” will not work anymore.
“Not all problems can be solved by raising costs. When there are too many cars, you increase COE and ERP. When you want to conserve water, increase the cost of water. Honestly, does that work?” he said.
“Many solutions feel like vanity projects that cost billions,” he added.
He brought up an S$11 million pneumatic waste conveyance system in Yuhua estate, saying that former MP Lee Bee Wah had also queried about the cost of implementing the system.
“She was concerned, as am I, whether the cost of implementing the system will eventually be passed on to residents in some form,” he said.
Mr Low also brought up the example of “expensive bin centres, including the complicated one at the National Arts Council”.
In 2016, a S$880,000 centralised refuse collection project at the National Arts Council - an agency under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - made the headlines, after the Auditor-General’s Office flagged the high consultancy fees of S$410,000.
“Make your vote count. If you don't want problems solved by increasing costs, please vote for me. Vote for the SDP. And let us work together to embrace a new normal that sees more ideas and options needed to bring us out of this current crisis,” said Mr Low.
This is the third consecutive election that Yuhua SMC will be contested by the PAP and the SDP.
Yuhua SMC is the second-smallest ward in terms of voters, with a total of 21,376 eligible voters.