Residents of housing estates managed by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) will soon receive “a special edition” of its newsletter, in which residents can access “all of the relevant information to estate upgrading and financial information”, said The Workers’ Party’s secretary-general Pritam Singh.
Mr Singh in a doorstop interview with the media at Deyi Secondary School on Nomination Day today (30 June) added — in response to a question on AHTC’s council management — that residents will also be able to access the newsletter on the town council’s website.
“All residents will be receiving this special edition very shortly, and if the printers take some time to get it to residents, they will find it uploaded on the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council website,” he said.
Noting that AHTC received a Green band for corporate governance in the Ministry of National Development’s Town Council Management Report (TCMR) for the financial year 2018, Mr Singh believes that AHTC’s town councillors “have done admirably in the circumstances we were in”.
“Financially, the performance, I think, does not look very different from the other town councils in Singapore.
“So we’re very proud of that, and I think at this point, it’s only appropriate for me to thank not just residents, who have been an ally in this effort, but also our contractors and the town council staff, who have actually worked very hard over many years.
“We look forward to more challenges, more brighter days ahead for the residents of Aljunied,” he said.
WP nearly lost Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) by a small margin of 1.9 per cent of votes against the People’s Action Party (PAP) in the previous general election in 2015.
Supporters have expressed uncertainty on whether WP will be able to hold on to the ward in light of the negative publicity over the ongoing AHTC trial faced by three of its town councillors, and — more recently — the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of ground campaigning and outreach.
Besides Mr Singh, party chair Sylvia Lim Swee Lian and central executive committee member Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, treasurer Gerald Giam Yean Song and Youth Wing president Leon Perera will be part of the Aljunied GRC team this coming election, following previous party chief Low Thia Khiang and party elder Chen Show Mao’s decision to step down.
Touching on WP’s decision to field Mr Giam and Mr Perera in Aljunied GRC this year, Mr Singh said that both of them “have proved themselves to be very capable NCMPs” who have been “prepared to take on Ministers in Parliament”.
Beyond that, he added, Mr Giam and Mr Perera are “very effective on the ground”.
“They reach out to people, they speak humbly, they approach people and they are not afraid to raise the issues that are faced by our residents to the party leadership for us to bring their voices into Parliament,” said Mr Singh.
Replying to queries on how WP thinks the contest in Aljunied GRC will be between itself and the PAP, Mr Singh said that it will be a challenging and competitive one, given that the PAP is a “formidable” and “well-resourced” opponent.
“No matter who is on the PAP slate, it will be a very, very tough fight, and the Aljunied GRC Workers’ Party team will have to fight hard for every vote. And we will do that,” he stressed.
Article updated with link to AHTC’s Good Neighbours Special Edition newsletter.