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Aljunied broadcasts see WP focus on role in Parliament, while PAP highlights residents' issues
THE challengers focused on the welfare of residents in the constituency, while the incumbents highlighted the constructive role they can play in Parliament.
The contrast in approach between the People's Action Party (PAP) and Workers' Party (WP) to win the hearts and minds of voters in the Aljunied GRC was clearly drawn in the first of five constituency political broadcasts on Friday night.
"Workers' Party MPs have spoken up to hold the government to account, from topics like spending on foreign student scholarships to the Keppel corruption scandal," said Leon Perera from the incumbent WP's team. "We support most Bills in Parliament if they are good for Singapore, though we voice our suggestions to improve them."
In calling voters in Aljunied GRC to re-elect the opposition party, both Mr Perera and WP's Gerald Giam disagreed with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) can do the job just as well as an elected opposition MP.
"Don't be swayed by this argument," Mr Giam said. "I have been an NCMP before and I know the limitations of that position. Without constituents to serve and a town to manage, it's hard to establish a base."
An NCMP is a member of the opposition political party who, according to the Constitution and Parliamentary Elections Act, is declared to have been elected an MP despite having lost in a general election by virtue of having been one of the best-performing losers. Mr Giam was NCMP from 2011 to 2015.
WP's chief Pritam Singh pointed out that the party's Aljunied GRC team have Parliamentary experience in holding the government accountable. Team members Sylvia Lim, Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap and Mr Singh have been elected MPs since 2011, while Mr Perera and Mr Giam, replacements for former WP leader Loh Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao who have both retired, were NCMPs.
The PAP challengers said they had not abandoned Aljunied voters, even though they lost in the last election.
"Since the 2011 general election, the PAP team (has) continued to walk with you," said Chua Eng Leong. "We have been listening to you, we know the issues, we know how you feel. Aljunied has not been left behind.
He said the PAP team has fought hard for the ward to build a new polyclinic, a community hospital and "even four MRT stations on the upcoming Cross-Island line".
Mr Chua said they would raise money to complete the upgrading of the neighbourhood and parks in Aljunied - and make its estates "barrier free".
Both Victor Lye and Chan Hui Yuh in the PAP team, whose vision is "for a caring community", spoke of starting funds in Aljunied to help disadvantaged children and meet the rising cost of essential services.
Alex Yeo added: "Our message is a simple one. We want to do more. We want to do more with you, for you."-