Singapore — The candidates for the new Kebun Baru Single-Member Constituency — the People’s Action Party’s Henry Kwek and the Progress Singapore Party’s Kumaran Pillai — made their respective speeches in a Constituency Political Broadcast on Sunday (July 5).
Henry Kwek mentions three priorities
Mr Kwek, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kebun Baru ward when it was under Nee Soon GRC, mentioned that he hears the concerns of residents.
“Over the last five years, we have come a long way,” he said. “Thank you for opening your hearts to me. Your concerns, hopes and aspirations have shaped my agenda and what we do in the community.”
Mr Kwek mentioned pushing for seniors’ rights in Parliament, more support for companies amid the pandemic and more jobs and training opportunities for youths and middle-aged workers.”
He mentioned a new social work movement being started in Kebun Baru by recruiting more than 300 new volunteers and more than 30 new social work and assistance programmes.
He aimed to prioritise three things: Ramping up the job counselling centre in the area, bringing professionals and business leaders together, and making Kebun Baru a more senior-friendly community.
He said: “Yes, these are tough times. But I am confident that together, Kebun Baru, we can emerge stronger.”
Kumaran Pillai: Focus on local and national issues
Mr Kumaran, who is the former publisher of sociopolitical website The Independent Singapore and currently the chief executive of a venture accelerator firm helping start-up businesses, makes his debut in politics in this General Election.
“I have learnt much about this community and having walked the ground for some time now, I have a closer affinity to this place and the residents of Kebun Baru,” he said. There was a need to help the elderly in the estate and their access to the main thoroughfares. He was also aware of the need to build ramps to make it easier for those in wheelchairs to access Mayflower Market and Hawker Centre. In addition, a lot of the infrastructure needed to be upgraded for the elderly population.
Mr Kumaran also mentioned the issue of peak-hour traffic around the vicinity of the schools in the neighbourhood as well as mosquito breeding in the landed estates of Sembawang and Thomson Hills. There was a need for a concerted effort for better control of dengue in the area.
The PSP candidate said that while local issues are top of his agenda, he would also focus on national issues that concern the residents of Kebun Baru. He said that the current Government has “gone astray” and that “it is time for us to change direction”.
Some of the heartlanders he had spoken to were concerned about their job prospects and most of them were worried that their children may not have the same opportunities for upward movement in the future.
“The Government’s indecisiveness over the Covid-19 issue has cost us billions in economic loss, job losses and SME owners losing their livelihoods completely,” Mr Kumaran said.
“It is time for us to make a stand and change direction so that we can secure our future for our children and their children. You deserve better, Singapore deserves better,” he added.
Kebun Baru SMC has more than 22,600 voters. /TISG
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