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PAP seeks to build strong Fengshan community
FAMILY emerged as a strong theme in the speeches at Friday evening's rally in Fengshan, where the People's Action Party (PAP) team from East Coast group representation constituency (GRC) turned up to support Cheryl Chan, the party's candidate in the Fengshan single-member constituency (SMC).
Ms Chan, who has volunteered as a grassroots leader in this corner of Bedok for a decade, described the area as a mature housing estate with multi-generational families living together or near each other.
"This is what we hope to see in our communities - very close-knit family bonds, and people who care for one another."
She said that if she were to be elected, she will champion two causes - those of the elderly, and underprivileged children.
"The PAP team has been here and we've been serving Fengshan residents for many years. We've always put residents' welfare first ... I will continue making that happen. Whether it's the hardware or heartware, we have to continue to look out for the residents."
She said that while a lot has been accomplished, still more needs to be done as the estate continues to mature. The HDB Home Improvement Programme aside, she pledged to renew the infrastructure of the public housing and private estates in the Fengshan neighbourhood.
Minister of State for Defence and National Development Mohamad Maliki Osman picked up on the theme of family:
"The reason we're here is we've always been family. Fengshan and East Coast GRC are family, and families remain together."
Fengshan, which was part of East Coast GRC in the 2011 general election (GE), has been carved out as a single ward this time around.
When East Coast GRC lead minister Lim Swee Say took the podium, he homed in on the theme of finding the right leadership for Singapore.
He said the country is coming up against three "peaks" in the coming years - peaks in the growth of the workforce, the population and the "ageing peak".
"These are not easy to overcome. If we're not able to overcome these three peaks, the next 50 years will be difficult times for us," he said.
The good news is that, with the right people and right leaders in place, Singapore can overcome these challenges, which are also dogging other countries. It is for this reason that this GE is important, because voters pick their representatives in parliament - and with only a fixed number of seats available, every one in the house counts, said Mr Lim.
"If you have passengers in parliament, every one extra passenger means one less driver, one less person working for you," he said.
The PAP candidates in both East Coast GRC and Fengshan SMC are facing challenges mounted by the Workers' Party.