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PAP: Need for strong govt to keep S'pore going in uncertain world

DPM Teo (above) and his Pasir Ris-Punggol team said the PAP will not only be the party to keep Singapore prosperous, it will also listen to and work with voters to move forward.


VOTE for a strong and stable government to keep Singapore going in a still uncertain world, the ruling party's candidates at Pasir Ris-Punggol urged at a rally on Thursday night.

The incumbents, led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and being challenged for a third time by the Singapore Democratic Alliance, said the People's Action Party (PAP) will not only be the party to keep Singapore prosperous, it will also listen to and work with voters to move forward.

The need for a strong and stable government is clear. Both Mr Teo, who is the PAP's first assistant secretary-general, and newcomer Ng Chee Meng, pointed to the shaky position the global economy is in as proof that there will be always such problems around the corner - and one needs a government like the PAP government to deal with them.

"We've the record to show we have done it," said Mr Ng, an ex-Defence Force chief.

"PAP is the real deal," added Zainal Sapari, who is also a member of the PAP team defending the six-member Group Representation Constituency. "We're not magicians who appear only at elections," he said referring to the opposition. The PAP is here to stay - and it delivers on its promises, he added.

Mr Teo, who also spoke in Malay and Mandarin, recalled that it was the PAP government who transformed a backward and weak Singapore, divided by different races and faced with a communist threat, into an affluent, strong and united country today.

Mr Ng said Singapore's meritocracy has provided every Singaporean a chance to succeed in life - and the education system that underpins it will continue to improve and offer even more opportunities, Mr Teo added.

Only in Singapore does one see nearly everyone owning a home, he continued. "Where in the world do you find this? Everyone progresses together. No one is left behind."

But Mr Teo cautioned that this could change if the political and economic instability around Singapore spills onto its shores. Singapore also remains under threat because the communist menace has given way to the danger of terrorist attacks, he said.

"We're honest and upfront, open and transparent," Mr Teo said. "We tell you what the real deal is - and the challenges. We work with you to set the direction for the future."

He said the PAP looks ahead and have a long-term vision, but it needs to work together with Singaporeans to achieve it.

"How did we succeed? We tackled the challenges together, we have the government that works with you to fulfil our shared dream to make Singapore a home we're proud of," Mr Teo said. "There is much, much more than we can achieve together. We need strong and stable government to work for a stable and better life for all Singapore."

Mr Ng, along with team members Janil Puthucheary, Mr Zainal and Teo Ser Luck, said many of the facilities voters at Pasir Ris-Punggol want are already being put in place, or being built. They include new hawker centres, childcare centres, schools, a library, polyclinic and hospital.