THE Workers' Party (WP) is banking on a home-ground advantage for the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) but People's Action Party's (PAP) anchor minister for Marine Parade Tan Chuan-Jin countered that his team too has spent a significant amount of time on the ground, and not just during this period.
Speaking to reporters at Kong Hwa School, one of the nomination centres, Mr Tan said: "Whether we live here or not, sometimes people may live abroad for a long time as well and they come back. Does that count? Well, that's for people to decide. For us, we're focused on our duties - and that's to be with the people because when we are with the people and carrying out different responsibilities, we try to understand them better and hope we can represent them better in government . . . The inputs (we have received) have made a lot of difference in shaping policies - making a difference not just for our residents, but for all Singaporeans as well."
Mr Tan and his team comprising Goh Chok Tong, Fatimah Lateef, Seah Kian Peng and Edwin Tong, are up against WP's Yee Jenn Jong, Terence Tan, Firuz Khan, He Ting Ru and Dylan Ng. While Mr Yee is the only one on his team to have general election (GE) experience, he stressed that his team is well-balanced, backed by legal, financial and startup experience.
"What I can confidently say is that these people have worked with me on the ground for many years. I've seen the dedication, how they come forward to serve without any rewards, how they are serving people with genuine hearts over the years."
He added: "I had a gentlemanly fight the last elections, and I'm looking forward to another good contest. May the best man win; and whatever happens, I will respect the results."
Separately, PAP's Lim Biow Chuan is defending his seat in Mountbatten Single Member Constituency (SMC) against Singapore People's Party's (SPP) Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss.
At her nomination speech, Ms Chong-Aruldoss exhorted voters to choose her as there is a need to close the gap between what the PAP government has been delivering and what Singaporeans deserve.
"We need to close the gap between the system we have and the society we want," she said. She added that she is able to speak on issues that PAP candidates may be unable to "for fear of the party whip".
Ms Chong-Aruldoss stood in Mountbatten under the National Solidarity Party's (NSP) banner at the 2011 GE, taking 41.4 per cent of the votes. She moved to SPP in March this year.
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