During the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) walkabout at the Whampoa Market yesterday (5 July) led by Josephine Teo, she responded to Peoples Voice’s (PV) Lim Tean’s remarks about her performance regarding the COVID-19 disaster in Singapore.
Mr Lim had criticised his Jalan Besar GRC opponent Ms Teo, saying she is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak as the migrant workers’ dormitories were severely impacted. He described her as one of the “greatest failures in 4G leadership” and had urged residents at Jalan Besar to vote Ms Teo out on the upcoming General Election (GE).
When asked about his comments, Ms Teo responded with laughter that she is “not that important”. She also believed that the residents at Jalan Besar do not treat the GE as a referendum on her, implying that the election will not be about her performance.
“I am not that important. I don’t think the residents feel that this is a referendum on me.”
Not just that, but the Minister of Manpower claimed that a lot of residents at the constituent she is contesting in had “encouraged her” and that the COVID-19 outbreak was a “difficult situation”. She described the coronavirus pandemic as a “curveball” and how it was unexpected.
“In this particular year, it is about our lives, our jobs, our future. In fact, quite a lot of residents that I have met, have encouraged me and also said that it is a very difficult situation. COVID-19 is absolutely a curveball. No one expected it.”
She also mentioned that the PAP team “never stops doing better”, and that they would focus on being “better prepared”.
“We never stop doing better and we never stop learning and never stop focusing on how we can be better prepared for the next time around. That is, I think, the attitude we bring to the table.”
Speaking of attitude, when Ms Teo was asked if the Government would issue an apology to the migrant workers in Singapore, she responded that she had not come across one single migrant worker who demanded an apology.
According to The Straits Times, Ms Teo expressed that the Jalan Besar residents know her PAP team “very well” and that getting to know the residents was a “priority for her”.
She believed that she would be able to gain trust and mutual support like how she did in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC where she was formerly a Member of Parliament.
“In time to come, I will also be able to build up a relationship of trust and mutual support that I was able to do in Bishan-Toa Payoh.”
Adding that it is important to take actions other than “speaking up”, Ms Teo mentioned that actions must be taken after expressing views as her party is called “People’s Action Party”, and not “People’s Speaking Party”.
“At the end of the day, even after having expressed our views, the important thing is to move into action mode. Speaking up is not bad, but once we speak up about a topic, we must be able to fulfil and do it.”
“So we are People’s Action Party, not People’s Speaking Party.”