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'A keen fight' expected for Hougang

WP incumbent Mr Png (left) said that he "takes this contest very seriously", while PAP's Mr Lee urged residents to work with him to "make Hougang a better place that we are proud to call our home"


INCUMBENT Member of Parliament Png Eng Huat from the Workers' Party (WP) said he expects "a keen fight" for Hougang Single Member Constituency (SMC) with senior IT manager Lee Hong Chuang, fielded by the People's Action Party (PAP) to contest in the WP stronghold.

As expected, both men turned up with their regiment of supporters at Poi Ching School in Tampines on Tuesday to file their nomination papers.

Expressing appreciation to Hougang residents for their past four years of support, Mr Png, 53, urged them to continue to support him and the WP at the polls on Sept 11.

When he arrived early morning at the nomination centre with his wife and supporters, Mr Png told reporters that he "takes this contest very seriously".

Asked about his views of his PAP opponent, Mr Png said: "I've met him a few times in Hougang . . . it will be a keen fight."

His opponent Mr Lee, 45, is a first-time PAP candidate contesting a single-seat ward. Speaking in Mandarin after his nomination was confirmed, Mr Lee urged Hougang residents to work with him to "make Hougang a better place that we are proud to call our home".

Also the PAP branch chairman in Hougang, Mr Lee thanked his supporters for their encouragement and support as well as their valuable suggestions.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had last month introduced Mr Lee as someone who is not afraid to go into WP territory to persuade hardcore WP supporters.

Hougang single-seat ward has been held by the WP for over two decades ever since party chief Low Thia Khiang won it in 1991.

Mr Png beat the PAP's Desmond Choo with 62.1 per cent of the votes at the 2012 Hougang by-election, following his WP colleague Yaw Shin Leong's expulsion from the party. Mr Choo is now fielded for Tampines GRC in the PAP team led by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat against the National Solidarity Party.

WP will kick-start its rallies with one for Hougang SMC at an open field in front of Block 837 Hougang Central on Wednesday from 7 to 10pm. The permit was issued by the police on Tuesday afternoon.


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