~By Yaoming ~
Mr Low Thia Kiang addressed the press conference with this statement in English and Mandarin:
The election slogan for GE 2011 and the party philosophy has been "Working Towards a First World Parliament". Transparency and being responsible to the electorate were key factors for the decision to expel Yaw Shin Leong.
Yaw Shin Leong failed to account for his actions, therefore the drastic and painful decision was taken after careful deliberation.
Responding to DPM Tharman's and PM Lee's accusations that WP has trivialised the situation and let Singaporeans down, Mr Low said they were wrong and said the WP showed political will by expelling Yaw Shin Leong because removing an MP from Parliment is neither an easy nor trivial matter.
This by-election shows that the democratic process is working in Singapore and it is up to Hougang residents to decide who is the better person to represent them.
Mr Png Eng Huat, the youngest of 6 children, was fielded to contest the Hougang by-election after careful consideration and close scrutiny since joining the WP in 2006. Fielding a candidate is always a risky decision so this was not undertaken without careful due process.
Mr Png has been working closely with WP and Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) to provide for needy residents and improve the overall welfare of Hougang residents through bread and food distribution programs.
When asked whether he would focus on local or national issues, Mr Png replied that both were equally important and there was no clear distinction between the two categories. On the local front Mr Png will focus on the the issues of upgrading, which the Hougang area is long due for, improving transport services in the area, as well as implementation of more elderly friendly services.
Mr Png strongly believes that Hougang residents know the importance of having an opposition in Parliament since they have voted for WP since 1991. If elected he will continue to be their voice in Parliment.
On election strategy, Mr Png saw no need to deviate from his current work on the ground. Having walked most of Hougang, he will continue to do house to house visits, walkabouts in the the Hougang area and official WP social media channels.
He did not believe his age or familiarity with Teochew would be a disadvantage to him. In fact while he understands some Teochew but is not conversant in it, the residents he has interacted with did not mind as long as everyone understood what was communicated.