The People’s Action Party (PAP) prioritised jobs and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the Reform Party (RP) stressed the need for dedicated members of parliament (MPs) and tackling cost of living concerns.
In the first constituency political broadcast aired on MediaCorp on Friday night (3 July), Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency’s (GRC) parties were up. Heading the team for the People’s Action Party (PAP) was PAP’s secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong who said “jobs are our top priority; if you’ve lost your job or lost income because of COVID-19, we have schemes to help you”, citing examples such as the rebates to households and merchants from the Ang Mo Kio Town Council to lighten the burden.
“Two community job fairs will also be held this month, at Cheng San and Yio Chu Kang community clubs (CCs) respectively,” he added.
Nadia Ahmad Samdin noted the pains the pandemic has caused to the breadwinners of households – some of whom have lost their jobs. She shared that with former member of parliament (MP) Ang Hin Kee, she launched home-based learning kits to support students in these situations, so that their education will not be compromised.
“Empowering every student to reach their potential—that’s a cause close to my heart. I’ve worked in youth development initiatives for the last 15 years,” she stated.
Ng Ling Ling, whose recent claims about her professional credentials took the spotlight, said she plans to help affected families through social and financial resilience efforts in Jalan Kayu, along with outgoing MP Intan Azura Mokhtar
Since Ang Mo Kio was a mature estate, housing and community development projects were of keen interest to the residents. Darryl David shared the programmes PAP had implemented for upgrading works.
“The Home Improvement Programme has been rolled out over the last five years, (and) more than 180 blocks of flats will have benefited from this by next year.”
Other notable enhancements he mentioned were the upgraded Teck Ghee CC which reopened in 2019, and Cheng San CC which is “due for an upgrade soon”.
Mr David added that the Fernvale CC will reopen next year instead of the end of this year to accommodate additional amenities such as a childcare centre, hawker centre and wet market. He also touched on the improvement in transportation, saying that the Lentor and Mayflower stations on the Thomson-East Coast MRT line will open soon, that the number of bus services has also increased, and bus networks have been extended to private estates.
Charles Yeo and Ms Noraini Yunus represented RP in the broadcast. Mr Yeo started with the need for dedicated MPs as the minimal basis to serve the constituents.
“You deserve full-time MPs devoted to your interests. All of us in the Reform Party team, led by Kenneth Jeyaretnam, are well aware that our first and foremost duty is to you, our constituents, and that public service is an honour, not a right,” he declared.
He affirmed that with RP as the elected party for Ang Mo Kio GRC, “all of (them) will make (themselves) available to (their) constituents and respond to you with a sense of urgency and diligence”, and that “all legitimate questions (directed to them) to ask in Parliament will in fact be asked.”
Mr Yeo planned to organise more frequent Meet-the-People Sessions to accomplish this and serve the residents in the GRC more efficiently.
“It’s a matter of common sense. If one’s to be engaged in the day with his work, he’ll have no energy after the end of the work day to fulfil his MP duties,” he said.
Cost of living was another issue Mr Yeo addressed, citing the examples of high rental for shopkeepers, and how difficult it is for them to profit in their businesses “due to bureaucratic red tape”.
He proposed to develop small- to medium-sized enterprises, “which is the lifeblood of citizen welfare”, by consulting with resident stallholders diligently to see how he may support them commercially.