The PAP highlighted “fulfilled promises”, while the SDP focused on ground complaints and job creation for local PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians).
The four-member PAP team spoke first: Mr Lawrence Wong, Ms Hany Soh, Mr Zaqy Mohamad and Mr Alex Yam. Next was the SDP team of Mr Benjamin Pwee, Mr Khung Wai Yeen, Mr Damanhuri Abas and Mr Bryan Lim.
Mr Wong said: “Five years ago, you trusted the PAP team with your vote. My teammates now seek your support for this election.” He recalled the last five years of putting their “hearts and minds to the mission of serving” the residents in the GRC. “We’ve listened to your feedback and suggestions. We’ve delivered on our promises,” he said. “You can see the improvements that have been made.”
Mr Wong mentioned an “exciting masterplan” for the constituency, such as the Northern Gateway and Regional Centre consisting of more homes, businesses and a wide range of amenities for Marsiling. New developments such as upgraded parks, and the first polyclinic and hawker centre are in store for Yew Tee, he said.
Mr Wong also covered job and livelihood concerns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “To all who have lost their jobs, or whose incomes are impacted, this is our promise: We will help you find new jobs and training places. We will support you and your family through this difficult period with additional help, we will be there with you to ride through this stormy weather,” he said.
The SDP’s Mr Pwee began his speech by mentioning that there had been numerous complaints and much dissatisfaction in the constituency, especially in terms of public housing facilities maintenance such as cleanliness issues, lift upgrading delays and the unresponsiveness of the PAP MPs and the town council.
He reminded the public of Mr Wong’s statement that the HDB (Housing and Development Board) flat’s value will reduce to zero over time. Mr Pwee revealed that many in the area have been trying to sell their flats but have not been able to do so because the market value of the property is dropping. “All three PAP MPs are in charge of national development, yet, they have failed their very own constituency,” said Mr Pwee.
On the development plans by the PAP for Marsiling-Yew Tee, Mr Pwee noted that this was the government’s responsibility to the people which uses public funds and should never be a political campaign strategy to win votes. He also questioned the uplifting effect of such plans on the residents’ livelihood, when the cost of living, GST, utility bills and public transport costs continue to rise.
Mr Khung, who spoke on the hot-button issue of jobs, promised that the party would give priority to local PMETs. “We at the SDP are open to accepting foreigners into our fold but it should not be done at the expense of Singaporeans. We propose to establish a national job bank where companies must hire from. Only if they are not able to find someone with the skillsets in the national job bank, are they able to hire foreigners,” he said.
Given the current Covid-19 situation, with analysts predicting up to 200,000 retrenchments, Mr Khung mentioned that choosing foreign PMETs to take job positions just because they are cheaper to hire, cannot be continued. /TISG
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