GE2020: In Nee Soon broadcast, PAP focuses on jobs, town revitalisation; PSP calls for ‘prosperity to be shared by all’
SINGAPORE: The People's Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) delivered their constituency political broadcasts for Nee Soon GRC on Monday (Jul 6).
For the PAP, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam spoke in English and Tamil, while Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim spoke in English and Malay. Ms Carrie Tan and Mr Derrick Goh spoke in English and Chinese. Mr Louis Ng spoke in English.
As for the PSP candidates, Mr S Nallakaruppan and Mr Brad Bowyer spoke in English, while Ms Kala Manickam spoke in Tamil and Mr Taufik Supan spoke in Malay. Mr Damien Tay spoke in Mandarin.
PAP: FOCUS ON JOBS, TOWN REVITALISATION
Mr Shanmugam noted that Nee Soon has become a healthcare hub for the northern part of Singapore, with two major hospitals and a large polyclinic. Another polyclinic in the works, he said.
“We will continue on making healthcare easily available to everyone,” he said.
Mr Shanmugam, who has been the MP for the Chong Pang ward since 1988, also noted the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in the midst of the greatest crisis since the Second World War. The situation has been tough, and it is going to be tough, but we can get out of this together. We will work with you (to) try and save jobs, create new jobs,” he said, adding that “clear plans” had earlier been announced on job creation.
He said that Nee Soon has become a “modern, vibrant town” in the last five years. Looking ahead, at least 15 major projects would be completed or significantly upgraded in the next five years, he also said.
READ: GE2020: Political parties must produce 'concrete plans', not just 'broad statements', says Shanmugam
In her segment, Ms Tan spoke of how outgoing MP Lee Bee Wah had done a “tremendous job” in helping the residents of Nee Soon South over the last decade.
“If elected, I will continue to do the same,” she said.
Ms Tan also pledged to contribute in three areas, including helping those who lost their jobs get new sources of income, as well as looking after the elderly and communicating with them in dialect. She also said that she wants to “reduce the stresses and burdens faced by the sandwiched generation”.
On his part, Mr Goh said in addition to helping residents access government programmes and acquire new skills to get jobs, he would focus on several areas in the Yishun Link division.
He said that he would roll out the Home Improvement Programme for 41 blocks in the area and improve bus services. He also said that he wants to increase the number of inclusive initiatives for young families and the vulnerable, as well as revitalising Yishun mall and developing a new community club with better facilities.
Mr Ng, who is the current chairman of the Nee Soon Town Council, noted the town council received top ratings in the town council management report every year, performing well in areas such as corporate governance, estate maintenance and cleanliness.
He added that more projects are in the pipeline, including a heritage garden and plans to build “one of the largest community farms in the heartlands”.
“I heard your concerns about jobs, about the social fabric of this nation, about sustainability,” said Mr Ng.
If elected, Mr Ng said he would continue to “speak up passionately for you in Parliament fighting for a better Singapore for all”.
PSP: PROSPERITY SHOULD BE “SHARED BY ALL RATHER THAN A SELECT FEW”
Mr Nallakaruppan called for a nation “that prospers and the fruits of that prosperity to be shared by all rather than a select few”.
He also noted that the PSP’s primary goal was to “uplift the lives of fellow Singaporeans with compassion and sincerity”.
He highlighted several key initiatives advocated by his party, such as freezing of the Goods and Services Tax as well as GST exemption for basic necessities. PSP has also called for increasing the quantum of Central Provident Fund (CPF) withdrawal at age 55 to up to S$50,000, he said.
READ: GE2020: Progress Singapore Party launches manifesto, says ‘economy must serve Singaporeans, rather than the other way around’
He said that there should be a greater social safety net. “Many Singaporeans have fallen through the cracks and are having great difficulties putting food on the table,” he said.
The PSP would double ComCare benefits from S$500 to S$1,000, and also provide more financial assistance for those who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, he said.
In his speech, Mr Tay noted that the PSP team truly embodied Singapore’s multiculturalism.
Meanwhile, Mr Taufik said if elected he would address issues facing the Malay community such as poverty and discrimination, while Ms Kala spoke of the need to reinforce Singapore’s values such as multiculturalism and meritocracy.
Noting his colleagues had spoken about topics such as uncertainty surrounding jobs, the rising cost of living and the unaffordability of housing, Mr Bowyer said Singapore could be a place where people have a “decent lifestyle at a fair price”.
“And after a lifetime of properly valued contribution, we can retire in comfort, and enjoy that time and watch our children and grandchildren grow and thrive. And if along the way, we find ourselves challenged in life, we know that we will have effective help to get us back on our feet,” he said.
This vision of Singapore is not a dream, but something achievable, he stated.
“And it starts with having a strong alternative voice in Parliament, a voice that will represent Nee Soon and all of us,” said Mr Bowyer.
“And whether it is running your town council, or arguing policy in Parliament, it will be a voice that will have your best interests at the centre of all that it does.”
Nee Soon GRC is home to more than 147,000 voters.