Workers' Party rally

Candidates' return to wards 'a sign of their commitment'

The Workers' Party's Mr Chen Show Mao speaking at the party's rally for Punggol East last night. With him were (from left) the WP's Punggol East SMC candidate Lee Li Lian, party chief Low Thia Khiang, chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Koh Choong Yong, who i
The Workers' Party's Mr Chen Show Mao speaking at the party's rally for Punggol East last night. With him were (from left) the WP's Punggol East SMC candidate Lee Li Lian, party chief Low Thia Khiang, chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Koh Choong Yong, who is standing in Sengkang West.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

Two Workers' Party (WP) candidates contesting in constituencies where they did so previously said last night that their decisions to do so showed their commitment to residents and the area.

Ms Lee Li Lian and Mr Koh Choong Yong, who are standing in the single wards of Punggol East and Sengkang West respectively, were also critical of their People's Action Party (PAP) opponents.

Ms Lee hit out at the PAP's Charles Chong, who said in an interview last month that when the PAP handed over Punggol East after losing it in the 2013 by-election, it was part of the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council which had a surplus.

But Ms Lee said last night: "I checked the books and found out, there was no accumulated surplus for Punggol East. Instead, it booked a deficit of $282,009 as of April 30, 2013, prior to merging with Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.

"It's not right to mislead the public and especially the residents of Punggol East with unsubstantiated data."

Ms Lee said at the WP rally in Punggol Field Walk that she will continue to fight for more amenities, such as hawker centres and markets, to be built in the estate.

And she will lobby for financial assistance for housewives, and for COEs of smaller-capacity motorcycles to be more affordable.

"If re-elected, I will keep working the ground to understand what your concerns are. I contested Punggol East in 2011, in 2013 and now, I'm back here again. I have not moved, I have stayed," she said.

Earlier, Mr Koh, who is contesting Sengkang West, said his return there after losing in the 2011 General Election showed his determination to serve residents.

He also responded to comments by his PAP opponent, Dr Lam Pin Min, who said Mr Koh disappeared from the ward for the past four years and did not speak up for residents during the columbarium saga. This was a reference to the saga last December, when home buyers objected to a columbarium being located next to a build-to-order residential project.

Said Mr Koh last night: "I thought this was strange: When residents need help, the elected MP is asking where I was. Does he want me to do his job?"

Mr Koh said he was helping WP colleagues Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat. They were elected in 2011 as MPs for Aljunied GRC and Hougang respectively.

Added Mr Koh in Mandarin: "Dr Lam, do you mean if I serve Aljunied and Hougang residents, I am not serving residents?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'Candidates' return to wards 'a sign of their commitment''. Print Edition | Subscribe