The People's Action Party candidate for Punggol East, Dr Koh Poh Koon, said that his campaign message is "this is me," and that's why he has been emphasising his hard-knock background.
Denying that it is a political manoeuvre to garner "sympathy votes," Dr Koh said that he has been talking about his kampong boy childhood as the son of a bus driver, and his rise to become a colorectal surgeon, because he wants voters to know who he is.
At a morning visit to Rivervale Plaza, where he shook hands with aunties doing their marketing and families having breakfast, Dr Koh also defended the legitimacy of his heartland credentials.
He does not own any private property, he said, just an HDB flat. His wife and him have a car each, he added, which he thinks is "fair as we are both professionals and have to travel."