WITH independent candidate Tan Lam Siong pulling out of the race for Potong Pasir on Tuesday, the fight there has become a straight one between People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Sitoh Yih Pin and Lina Chiam of the Singapore People's Party (SPP).
Mr Sitoh, speaking to reporters ahead of filing his papers at Kong Hwa School, promised more improvement projects for Potong Pasir over the next five years, while Mrs Chiam, also addressing the crowds at the venue, highlighted the difficulties faced by Singaporeans, which she promised to fight to resolve.
Both their candidacies in the single-member constituency (SMC) had been expected.
It had been building up to be a three-corner fight earlier - PAP, SPP and the independent Mr Tan, who indicated on Tuesday that he was throwing his support behind Mrs Chiam. Noting in a blog post on Tuesday that this would be 66-year-old Mrs Chiam's last election, he wrote: "I will lead my team to show our support for Mrs Chiam at her rally and hope she succeeds to regain Potong Pasir SMC and continue (Chiam See Tong's) dedicated service to its residents."
Mrs Chiam is married to opposition veteran and SPP secretary-general Mr Chiam, who was Potong Pasir's custodian in the 27 years up to the 2011 election, when he left the SMC to contest - unsuccessfully - in Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
Mr Chiam was present at Kong Hwa School on Tuesday.
In his manifesto, incumbent Mr Sitoh, 51, pointed to programmes rolled out in Potong Pasir in the four years since the 2011 general election; these have included lift upgrading and home improvement works. He promised more to come, such as additional bus services and more day care centres for the elderly.
"For example, for the young, we are going to double the size of our gym... because we found it is very crowded on weekends. Apart from that, we're going to do many other projects - surveillance cameras, new lightings, covered walkways. All these came from feedback from the residents," said Mr Sitoh, who receives about 50 text or WhatsApp messages and emails from residents daily.
Mrs Chiam, in her speech to her supporters, said: "We have come back stronger than before, to fight for your future, to fight for your rights, to fight for democracy."
"We know the difficulties faced by Singaporeans. Trains breaking down, jobs for our children, retirement problems. We have worked hard. We deserve a better life than this."
Meanwhile, independent Zeng Guoyan - dubbed Parrot Man for showing up at past election events with his pet parrot perched on his shoulder - turned up but did not submit any papers.
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