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GE2020: PAP and PSP contest in West Coast ‘not about personalities’, says Iswaran

GE2020: PAP and PSP contest in West Coast ‘not about personalities’, says Iswaran

The People’s Action Party’s West Coast GRC lead, S. Iswaran, speaking to the media at a walkabout at Blk 207 Boon Lay Place on 4 Jul, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Framing the contest between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) in West Coast GRC as a choice between two ministers and Dr Tan Cheng Bock is “wrong”, said Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran on Saturday (Jul 4). 

The PAP and its team in West Coast have touched on and implemented policies at the national and local level, said Mr Iswaran. He added that there are “many more” being implemented to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying economic challenges. The People’s Action Party’s West Coast GRC candidate Rachel Ong speaking to the media at a walkabout at Blk 207 Boon Lay Place on 4 Jul, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

READ: GE2020: Day 5 on the campaign trail

“So that is what you have on one side - a party and a team that has understood in detail, with depth, the concerns and needs of our people and has mounted national programs as well as local programs in order to meet those needs,” he added. 

“On the other side, you have a team that has basically put out a very short manifesto with broad statements, but lacking in detail. Detail about how they will implement the national programmes ... Or for that matter what they’re going to do at a detailed level, other than broad promises that they have run town councils before. That is not enough.” 

Citing the opposition’s stance on wanting to review all of Singapore’s trade agreements, he said that every trade agreement is a “carefully balanced set of benefits and trade offs”. 

“When you say you want to, for example, review the trade agreement because you don’t agree with the trade off, then please tell us, what are you going to give up in order to secure the things that you want? Because the other countries are not going to just give you a free pass,” added Mr Iswaran. Adding that voters in West Coast GRC and Singaporeans “deserve to know”, he said: “You can't make broad statements and then leave it to the imagination of the population.”The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) West Coast GRC team led by S. I

“So I think the contest is not about personalities. It's not about who’s leading them, which ministers we have. We have emphasised, we are a team. And we will work as a team to serve the entire West Coast GRC,” he added.

Mr Iswaran also responded to questions about Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing’s remarks that the three biggest opposition parties could become a “replacement for the Government” if they join forces. 

READ: GE2020: 3 biggest opposition parties could be 'replacement for the Government' by coming together, says Chan Chun Sing

The Progress Singapore Party candidates for West Coast GRC breaking for coffee during walkabout at Telok Blangah food centre on Jul 4, 2020. (Photo: Ruth Smalley)

What Mr Chan said about the opposition parties is “an arithmetic reality”, said Mr Iswaran. 

“When you add up all the people who are contesting, and if they get elected then they will be the majority and they will form Government,” he added. 

“What will happen, how it’ll happen I think is up to voters to decide. But I think you can’t fault Mr Chan for basically spelling out what is an electoral arithmetic reality that people should take into account.”

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of GE2020 and its developments

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Source: CNA/aa(ac)

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