Workers' Party rally

2 hopefuls narrow focus to residents in wards

Workers’ Party's MacPherson candidate Bernard Chen.
Workers’ Party's MacPherson candidate Bernard Chen.PHOTO: ST FILE

Switching the focus from national issues to municipal ones, two candidates from the Workers' Party (WP) yesterday fleshed out their plans for the constituencies they are contesting in.

Mr Bernard Chen, 29, who is running for the single-seat MacPherson ward, outlined three proposals for the SMC which, he said, has many elderly residents.

He wants to pair residents with general practitioners so that they can get timely help; he suggests lower speed limits and adjusting timers at pedestrian crossings to make walking easier; and he would like to see void deck space allocated for a convenience shop and a coffee shop for every two precincts.

"Many resident shopkeepers are rapidly ageing, and they are unable to continue to carry on with their businesses," said Mr Chen, speaking at last night's rally in Ubi.

"So while it appears there are sufficient amenities to cater to the needs of residents, we must realise that it may not be the case in another few years' time."

This proposal could benefit residents in Geylang East, Geylang Central and Paya Lebar Way, he said.

On the scheme that pairs residents with a general practitioner near their homes, Mr Chen said it could "facilitate and improve the coordination with other care providers in providing timely assistance to the elderly in need".

Lastly, to make it easier for seniors to walk about MacPherson, Mr Chen said the WP is suggesting speed limits for vehicles to be further reduced in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic.

"This will be very appropriate for residents staying in Pipit Road, Circuit Road and Balam Road area.

"For an estate with many elderly residents, this is no small matter," said Mr Chen.

He is up against the People's Action Party's Ms Tin Pei Ling and the National Solidarity Party's Mr Cheo Chai Chen.

Last night, Mr Yee Jenn Jong - who leads the WP's five-member Marine Parade team - also outlined his plans for the GRC, which had absorbed the Joo Chiat SMC he contested in 2011 and lost by just 388 votes. Mr Yee said if the WP's slate is elected, it will self-manage the Marine Parade Town Council.

A key priority would be to ensure proper maintenance of the estate during the handover.

"We will also want to focus on heartware by quickly establishing grassroots operations," Mr Yee said, citing plans to create bonding and to build community spirit.

"We will also work with various voluntary welfare organisations and government institutions to ensure that essential help will be given to vulnerable sections of community that need it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline '2 hopefuls narrow focus to residents in wards'. Print Edition | Subscribe