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KEVIN MATHEWS

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WANG SHIJIA

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JEFF CHEONG

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ROYSTON TAN

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SVEN TAN

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PANN LIM

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STEFANIE YUEN THIO

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EDWIN LOW

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COLIN SEAH

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EDINA HONG

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KENNY CHAN

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WINNIE CHAN

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BECCA D'BUS

Day at the polls

The oyster omelette debate aside, newsmakers tell BT Lifestyle about what's good to eat in their respective constituencies and their plans for Polling Day
Sep 11, 2015 5:50 AM

KEVIN MATHEWS

Veteran singer-songwriter-producer and music critic-blogger and resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC

"I LIVE in the Novena-Farrer Park area which was designated as Moulmein-Kallang in 2011 and is now back as Tanjong Pagar GRC. Before I moved here, I was living in Marine Parade.

This area is very quiet and sedate, which is what I like about it the most. But in the last two years, that has been disrupted somewhat by endless upgrading works. Construction work has added dust and dirt to the environment and much inconvenience. I hope once it's finished it will be worth all the hassle. The jury is still out on that, though.

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Just a 10-minute walk from my residence brings you to the Pek Kio Market where there are four excellent food centres. The economical rice is value for money and the roasted pork, chicken and duck stalls are worth visiting as well.

For me, (one of the highlights of this election is) observing how fellow Singaporeans respond to the various soundbites that circulate during (the hustings). I get to find out more about friends and acquaintances on social media and it's always illuminating. As for the issues, they don't change much from election to election.

(My songs are) not so much about political issues as about life experiences. I make observations about life in Singapore and it's impossible not to write about the issues that affect myself and my fellow countrymen.

The two Watchmen (Mathews' first band from the 1990s) albums - Democracy (1993) and Love (1994) which are available on iTunes and other digital music platforms - have songs like The High Cost of Living, Mister Ong, I Love Singapore and Bus Funk. You can also find Pasir Ris Sunrise on the Pop (1998) album I recorded with The Crowd (Mathews' new band after Watchmen broke up).

Polling Day is going to be a pretty normal day for me actually (although it's the same day) my latest album Present Sense will be released - absolute coincidence! It has numbers like Misery City and Under Happy.

I would not have the stomach (to be in politics myself), to be honest - I have no believable poker face!"

By Dylan Tan
dylan@sph.com.sg
@DylanTanSYBT


WANG SHIJIA

Founder of the Ang Ku Kueh Girl and Friends range of merchandise and resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC

"I'VE been living in this constituency for the past six years, since I got married. It is close to town and is convenient in terms of amenities, transportation and good food. I also have friendly and considerate neighbours so it is a very comfortable neighbourhood to live in.

Foodwise, I enjoy the steamed dumplings from Jing Hua at Neil Road and their good service. This is comfort food for me and I eat there so frequently that some of the staff recognise my voice when I call.

I also enjoy ang ku kueh from Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh at Everton Road. They are all handmade in the store. The skin is thin and the filling is just right and not too sweet.

I will go early to vote, then go back to work in the office, just like any other day of planning and management except that it is Polling Day. I will catch up with my family later in the afternoon for a meal. My husband, a senior director in corporate real estate, and I will be catching up with each other about our week while watching the release of the election results together."

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


JEFF CHEONG

President of Tribal Worldwide Asia and resident of Marine Parade GRC

"I'M planning to hit the polling station first thing in the morning so that I can take my three kids out for breakfast and cycling at East Coast Park after that.

I like living in Marine Parade as it has always been seen as the crown jewel of the east. Besides its locale, it is flanked by the rich heritage of Joo Chiat and Katong, a buzzing art community at Telok Kurau studios and a well-connected cycling path to parks and the beach.

A hearty dish I would recommend from the area is the prawn noodles at Beach Road Prawn Mee at 370 East Coast Road. The prawn mee is held together by its complex soup base, served with succulent jumbo prawns and fresh bak kut, or pork ribs, that are so tender. You must add the freshly fried pork lard pieces and homemade fried shallots to the noodles to give it that added crunch and aromatic flavour.

After breakfast, you can order a cuppa at the resident hipster joint Penny University, or hop across the street for some gelato at Simplicite Cafe to calm the spiciness of the prawn mee."

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


ROYSTON TAN

Filmmaker and resident of Ang Mo Kio GRC

"I'VE been living in this area for 12 years, and before that I was in the Aljunied area. My favourite thing around here is that I can see the sunset from my carpark in the second half of the year.

Around the time of the last elections, I didn't like coming home because the building I lived in was painted mucus green. I think even the birds were confused because I didn't see many around then. Thankfully, this year, they re-painted it white and grey and it's much better.

I also like that we have these sensors in my corridor which save electricity by dimming the lights when people aren't around. We used to feel like we were in a horror story but now we're used to it.

The best, and maybe only, place to eat in my neighbourhood is a coffeeshop with great wanton mee. It's a tradition for my family on polling day: it's right beside the polling station, and as my family is usually very busy, it's a good time for us to sit down together after voting and catch up. After a meal, we return home and sit in front of the TV watching the news. We like to discuss our thoughts, all the while eagerly waiting for the results."

In previous years, the media used to find me and ask me political questions so now I take my family shopping the night before polling day to buy neutral-coloured clothing, which seems to work.

I think this year's election has been the most exciting I've ever experienced. My friends and I always make it a point to go to one PAP rally and one opposition rally - it's only fair. I'm really looking forward to the results.

By Avanti Nim
avantin@sph.com.sg


SVEN TAN

Co-founder of fashion label In Good Company and a resident of Aljunied GRC

"I'VE not heard of anyone throwing an election results party but I know I'll be joining some friends for dinner before we anxiously await the election results. We'll probably go to a friend's home and watch the results on TV.

This is the first time I am really experiencing active citizenry. I believe that Singaporeans are now more politically conscious than in previous years which will help to shape the future of Singapore in the next 50 years.

Since the election results will only be known late at night, I'll be taking time off in the day to spend time with my family followed by catching the film Station to Station at the Singapore Design Festival. It's about a train that travels 4,000 miles across North America with a revolving community of artists and musicians who collaborate on recordings, artworks, films and 10 'happenings' across the country."

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


PANN LIM

Co-founder of design firm Kinetic and resident of Marine Parade GRC

"I DO not have a lot of plans other than staying up to watch the results with my two kids. I want them to know that there are many passionate politicians working very hard for the betterment of Singapore.

I love Singapore as a whole although I have been living all my life in the east. I am 15 minutes away from the beach - how to beat this awesome location! There are lots of food options around this area. I will say try the awesome Goldhill Hakka Yong Tau Fu along Changi Road. They may be known for their yong tau fu but their steamed wine clams are to die for."

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


STEFANIE YUEN THIO

Joint managing partner of TSMP Law Corporation and resident of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

"I'M hosting a casual gathering of about 30 friends to watch the election results together. We did this in the 2011 General Elections and had a lot of fun, so it's becoming a bit of a tradition.

Last time, we found that the official results came quite late, and there was a lot of interesting up-to-the-minute information from social media, so I've rented a large screen that will be dedicated to instant updates from Twitter, Facebook, etc. I have a particularly tech-savvy friend whom I've designated as our social media disc jockey.

I'm getting someone who runs a wanton noodle stall to come and prepare a la minute noodles for us. For dessert, there's the best custard puffs in Singapore from Balmoral Bakery, which I used to buy from when they were in Holland Village.

Food-wise, in the constituency, we have the best nasi lemak (Adam Road Hawker Centre), the best neighbourhood contemporary bistro (Relish at Cluny Court), the best bak chor mee (an offshoot of Crawford Lane's Tai Hwa Pork Noodles at Ghim Moh temporary market), the best zi char (Bukit Merah and Bukit Timah Road). And that's just off the top of my head.

I've always lived around this area - it's my kampong. I love the tree-lined roads, that my doctor is within walking distance and the great food choices.

 Another important reason I do this is to instil a sense of obligation to be an informed and responsible voter in my 16-year-old son. Although he's knee-deep in O-Level preparations, I dragged him to some rallies. Of course, he and some children of friends will join us later on today.

By Cheah Ui-Hoon
uihoon@sph.com.sg


EDWIN LOW

Founder of Supermama and resident of Radin Mas SMC

"THIS will be the first time I'm voting in this constituency. I was previously living in the Moulmein area, and sold my old home to fund my shop, Supermama.

I've been living in Redhill Close for the last four years. Moving into this three-room flat has been one of the best decisions I've made because I thoroughly enjoy living here. I heard Redhill used to be a gangster area, but now, every night at Redhill Market, you see uncles chilling out and enjoying their beers. There's a very laid-back atmosphere here. I really like the market; it is one of those with a wet and dry market at the back, together with a hawker centre. And it is just a three-minute walk from home.

I haven't got any special plans for Polling Day. I'll vote in the morning then attend a friend's baby's birthday bash!"

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


COLIN SEAH

Principal designer at Ministry of Design and resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC

"I'VE been living in Little India since 2004, and it is weird how this area is zoned under Tanjong Pagar.

I like living here because it is city-fringe living with an authentic attitude of its own. My wife and I love the variety of Indian food here, especially at Mustard Restaurant, which serves Bengali and Punjabi cuisine.

I've no election results party planned for today but I will be hanging out with friends socially."

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


EDINA HONG

Co-owner of the Emmanuel Stroobant group and resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC

"ON polling day, my girlfriends and I will be voting in the morning and we have decided that we will catch up at my place for a popiah party for lunch.

(My husband Emmanuel and I) recently became Singapore citizens, and this is our first ever voting experience. We have never voted before in our lives. We are very excited.

There isn't one election issue that I'm more interested in. At the end of the day, I think it is naive to think you can address one issue without other issues coming into play. What's important is to look at the bigger picture and see how each issue that has been debated about contributes to the bigger picture.

I like the recently introduced Liquor Control Act. We have two very young children and for our weekend activities, my husband will take them on a bicycle ride along the river. Before the Act was introduced, we would see puddles of vomit along the pathway, especially in the Clarke Quay and Boat Quay areas. Now we see a marked reduction in this unsightly mess, so our weekend activity is more pleasant.

I like living in Tanjong Pagar because it's central, convenient and close to town. And there's great food! Like the Zion Road Hawker Centre's fried kway teow - it is really very good and reminds me of my favourite fried kway teow stall in my hometown in Malaysia.

There is another stall at Zion Road Hawker Centre which serves laksa that I really like, and makes fish ball kway teow that is reminiscent of my hometown. This dish is not on the menu and they specially make it for me - dry kway teow with thick dark sauce."

By Rachel Loi
@RachelLoiBT
rachloi@sph.com.sg


KENNY CHAN

Director of Kinokuniya Singapore and resident of Marine Parade GRC

"I'M considered a resident of Marine Parade GRC even though I've lived in Braddell Heights for the last 25 years.

I like my neighbourhood because it's quiet but close enough to amenities, and I have pleasant neighbours. My two kids grew up in the area, and the roads around the estate are where they used to cycle, scooter and rollerskate. Or they would play on the swing in our front yard and have birthday parties at home with their friends as they grew up.

We would also have Sunday morning roti prata breakfasts at Hong Chang Eating House at the junction of Braddell and Upper Serangoon Road, and I also like the food at Siam Society at Jalan Riang - it's delicious.

I'll be spending most of Polling Day working actually, but I'll have dinner with my family - my wife, kids and mother - afterwards.

As for the results, yes, I normally stay up and watch because it's exciting and the fate of Singapore is in the balance."

By Rachel Loi
@RachelLoiBT
rachloi@sph.com.sg


WINNIE CHAN

Founder of Bynd Artisan and resident of Nee Soon GRC

"TODAY, my husband and I plan to vote, then visit our new store in Holland Village and then go home to follow the election news on TV.

This is the first time we are voting in Nee Soon. Previously, we lived in the same vicinity but further up Yio Chu Kang Road and were under Teck Ghee constituency.

What I like most about living in Nee Soon is the proximity to nature, fresh air, tranquil surroundings - I live right by Upper Peirce Reservoir .

Our two teenage kids love going to Shanghai Renjia along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. Sometimes, we eat there two or three times a week. It's almost like our canteen since I work long hours and do not have time to cook.

If you are in the area, you should try La Pizzaiola at Kalidasa Avenue, which is within walking distance from my home. The restaurant is another of our favourite haunts for Italian food.

By Tay Suan Chiang
taysc@sph.com.sg
@TaySuanChiangBT


BECCA D'BUS

Drag queen, host and producer of cult drag show RIOT! and resident of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC

"I LIVE in Marsiling-Yew Tee which is a newly-formed GRC being contested by the PAP and the SDP. I like it here because it's quiet and I have space to dream of ever more outrageous things to wear. It's stable and consistent. McDonald's is everywhere - though that's very bad for you.

I work in the arts and I (try to) entertain people. So I believe in working with others.

Our next drag show is on Sept 12 at 8pm at Tab, 442 Orchard Road. It's the day after Polling Day and, I must say, we couldn't have asked for better opening acts than all the political rallies that have popped up around the island - some of which I'd describe as failed attempts at stand-up comedy.

Not only have these performers warmed up the audience, they've also provided such great material for us drag performers to riff on. Expect incredible jokes, costumes, song-and-dance and drag performers who will fully admit that some of the words they perform are not their own."

By Helmi Yusof
helmi@sph.com.sg
@HelmiBT