SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) team contesting in Workers’ Party (WP)-held Aljunied GRC has refuted suggestions that the party does not care about winning in the constituency.
The PAP team comprises 2015 Aljunied candidates Shamsul Kamar, Victor Lye and Chua Eng Leong. Serangoon branch chairperson Chan Hui Yuh and new candidate Alex Yeo complete the lineup. It is the only PAP team without an anchor minister.
“It’s natural, but it’s not true,” Mr Lye said in response to the suggestions on the sidelines of a walkabout at the Kaki Bukit 511 market and food centre in Bedok North on Sunday (Jul 5).
“Deep down in our heart, actually elections are won by the people. We can stand; the results do not reflect us per se but the decisions of the people.
“What we do is we work very hard to look after them, not at election time, but from day one continuously. So I think people know that and they will decide.”
Mr Shamsul said he has served Aljunied residents as a grassroots leader from 2007 to 2011 and is thus familiar with the ground. In the 2011 election, WP captured Aljunied GRC from the PAP.
“The social programmes that we have for our residents have been established,” he added.
“That is the added value that I thought I bring to residents here. And I hope they’ll support us in this endeavour to bring them to the national stage.”
Mr Lye added that what matters for voters are candidates who have a “heart” for serving people and not their “weight”, referring to political stature.
He noted that the PAP team had forced a recount in 2015. At that time, the WP team featuring heavyweights like Mr Pritam Singh, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang retained Aljunied with 50.95 per cent of the vote.
“If you look at GE2015, we have stood our ground, not for ourselves, but for the people of Aljunied,” Mr Lye said.
“We forced a recount against the so-called A team of the opposition. I won’t have to say any more.”
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The WP has recently distributed a newsletter to Aljunied and Hougang residents detailing the financial position of their town council.
The High Court last October found Ms Lim, Mr Low and Mr Singh liable in a landmark case investigating the misuse of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council funds. Lawyers for the three have filed a notice to appeal.
“I think it’s good that we have a town council that is financially responsible,” Mr Lye said on Sunday. “But it came about after much scrutiny.”
When asked for their plans if they fail to win Aljunied again this year, Mr Lye replied: “We will continue serving the day after the results”.
Mr Shamsul said that he was back walking the ground at 9am the day after polling day in 2015, despite only getting home at 5.45am because of the vote recount.
“Our residents know that we are on the ground and serving them,” he added. “The people are the centre of what we do. And to me, that's what counts.”