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Election digest

The candidates of five more constituencies delivered their political broadcasts on Sunday evening. Here are highlights of what they said:

Jalan Besar GRC

THE People's Action Party (PAP) team for Jalan Besar GRC emphasised its candidates' wealth of experience and the party's track record in developing the constituency.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How and Central District Mayor Denise Phua have, between them, served Jalan Besar for over 30 years. Mrs Teo formerly served Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC from 2006, and new face Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah has been a community leader for over 10 years.

Ms Phua said in the past five years, six new MRT stations were built, nine markets were upgraded, 55 lift upgrading and home improvement programmes were carried out, and more Build-To-Order flats were injected in the constituency.

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Lim Tean, the leader of the opposing Peoples Voice party, criticised the government's policies regarding foreign workers, and said that many Singaporeans "feel abandoned by the government".

He also took aim at the handling of the Covid-19 crisis and called into question the government's preparedness, citing issues such as the lack of mandatory wearing of masks during the early days of the outbreak, and how certain large scale events were allowed to proceed.

He singled out Mrs Teo for being responsible for the explosion of Covid-19 cases in foreign worker dormitories, and asked voters to use their vote as a "referendum on (her) competence and leadership".

Jurong GRC

SENIOR Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the leader of the PAP team in Jurong GRC, said his team's style has always been an on-the-ground approach to solve problems that residents face, through home visits and meet-the-people sessions.

During the Covid-19 crisis, they mobilised volunteers and community networks to help families whose incomes have been hit, ensure that disadvantaged children get extra support, and reached out to senior citizens living on their own to help them with their shopping and meals, or to make befriender calls.

The Red Dot United (RDU) team in Jurong GRC called Mr Tharman's promise of providing temporary jobs in the current downturn a "poor substitute" because Singaporeans "need careers, not just job opportunities".

Party chief Ravi Philemon said that if elected, RDU will push for a reversal of the government's current "train first, jobs later" approach, and fight for a mandatory upgrading programme or "SERS (Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme) for life" for the ageing flats in Jurong.

Kebun Baru SMC

JOB counselling, bringing professionals and business leaders together, and building a senior-friendly community are the priorities of PAP candidate Henry Kwek, who is defending his seat in Kebun Baru SMC.

If elected, he said, he will ramp up the constituency's job counselling centre to help residents find jobs and overcome financial difficulties. He plans to introduce more networking sessions and industry talks, and make Kebun Baru the most dementia-friendly community in Singapore.

His opponent Kumaran Pillai from the Progress Singapore Party spoke about issues such as the need to upgrade infrastructure for the elderly, the peak hour traffic near schools, and the effort required to control the dengue outbreak in landed estates. His other priorities are job prospects and better access to financial support.

MacPherson SMC

TIN Pei Ling, who is defending her MacPherson seat for the PAP, called for residents' continued support following her nearly 10 years of service there. She added that she intends to enhance the vibrancy, safety and accessibility of the constituency, and continue to press for sustainability and clean energy strategies.

Her opponent Goh Meng Seng, who leads the People's Power Party, spoke about the high cost of healthcare and the need to review current CPF policies to better support retirees. He also said that the liberal foreign talent policy has made companies unwilling to hire and groom the local workforce, which will lead to a vicious cycle of underemployment among Singaporeans.

He urged voters to elect more opposition members into Parliament to ensure more checks and balances on the ruling party.

Marine Parade GRC

FORMER Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who leads the PAP team in Marine Parade GRC, said that while there have been changes to the team, including the departure of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, the commitment to serve residents does not change.

He said that while there will be meaningful town development and infrastructural enhancements, the priority is always the people and their well-being.

Their Workers' Party opponents again focused on the need for more opposition representation in Parliament. One of the Marine Parade candidates, Yee Jenn Jong, urged voters not to give the PAP a blank cheque.

He added that WP can run an estate just as well as the PAP, using Hougang and Aljunied as examples. The WP has also raised many issues in Parliament. He said the PAP does not have a monopoly of wisdom.

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