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PM eggs opposition on to show its report card too

PAP is proud of its track record of working with Singaporeans to help the nation progress, he says

At the PAP's rally for its slate of four candidates for Jalan Besar GRC, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (at the podium) said Workers' Party candidates - campaigning with the slogan 'Empower Your Future' - were thinking only of empowering themselves, not the people. He urged voters to vote PAP not just on the strength of its track record, but also because it was the party that would work for the future of Singapore.


THE People's Action Party (PAP) has already presented its report card to Singaporeans, and it is only fair that the opposition does the same, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday evening.

Speaking at the party's rally for Jalan Besar group representation constituency (GRC), he said the ruling party was proud of its achievements and track record for the last term, which was why he had called the election to ask for a fresh mandate.

Mr Lee, the PAP's secretary-general, said the government had made strides in tackling "difficult" issues such as housing, transport, immigration and health care over the years, and that the results were there for voters to see.

"This is not just the PAP report card, it's our report card. You have a part in the score. What we did, we did together, the government and the people," he said. "If it's a good report card, we can all congratulate ourselves because we've made progress."

He took the opportunity to question the ability of the Workers' Party (WP), and described its candidates as being good at making fiery speeches in election rallies but who had acted very differently during parliament sittings.

He charged: "You look at what (WP chief) Low Thia Khiang said at the rallies - that the government's economic policy is so inhuman and heartless, goes for growth and ignores people.

"Did he say that in parliament? No. Why not? Because if he had, we would have argued with him face to face and he would have had no answer."

Earlier in the rally, each of the PAP's four Jalan Besar candidates - Yaacob Ibrahim, Lily Neo, Heng Chee How and Denise Phua - each made a final go at urging voters to mark that "X" in the box for the PAP on Polling Day.

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob said the WP candidates - campaigning with the slogan "Empower Your Future" - were thinking only of empowering themselves, not the people.

"It doesn't take 20 MPs to table a motion (in parliament), it just takes one MP with guts," he said, adding that the WP's campaign was more about putting down the PAP because the WP had "nothing to show" after four years in parliament.

"Vote PAP - not just because of our track record, but because you believe in providing opportunities for all, because you want to build a united Singapore, where we can work together for our future and where we will take care of one another," he said.

PM Lee, noting that candidates from the various parties had used the nine-day campaign period to hold rallies, go door-to-door to meet residents, have dialogues and get themselves featured in the media, urged voters to use the mandatory Cooling-Off Day on Thursday, the day before Polling Day, to reflect on all that has been said and done.

"Think about what you've heard, what you've been told. Spend the time well to examine what each party has promised you, what plans they have, and look at their track record," he said.

He expressed hope that Singaporeans, before heading into the voting booth, would also think about the characters of the candidates being fielded in this election.

"(It's) not just what they say, but what sort of people they are. Can you trust them? Are they honourable? Will they be there when you need them?"

The Sept 11 general election is about the country's future, said the prime minister, with each vote contributing to Singapore's direction for the next five years and beyond.

Singapore has progressed in the last 50 years into a first-world nation and there is much reason to celebrate, he said.

"We can look back with pride, satisfaction and a sense of achievement. We helped to make this journey possible. We must go forward now to make the next journey just as fulfilling, successful and amazing to the world and ourselves.

"We would like to walk this journey, the PAP together with you," he said.


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