GE2015: Yee Jenn Jong says WP will directly manage Marine Parade Town Council if elected

Marine Parade GRC candidate Yee Jenn Jong said the Workers' Party (WP) would self-manage the Marine Parade Town Council if its slate is elected in the GRC,
Marine Parade GRC candidate Yee Jenn Jong said the Workers' Party (WP) would self-manage the Marine Parade Town Council if its slate is elected in the GRC,ST PHOTO: JANICE TAI

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) will self-manage the Marine Parade Town Council if its slate is elected in the GRC, said team leader Yee Jenn Jong.

Speaking at the party's rally on Monday night in Ubi for the Marine Parade GRC, he said the WP now has MPs and staff with town council operating experience.

"This will provide us with considerable expertise to tap on," he added.

A key priority would also be to ensure that there continues to be proper maintenance of the estate during the handover.

"We will also want to focus on heartware" by quickly establishing grassroots operations, Mr Yee said.

"There will be regular activities among residents 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 needs it."

The WP won Aljunied GRC at the 2011 polls and merged the Aljunied Town Council with the Hougang Town Council to form the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, which was run by a managing agent, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS).

When the WP won the Punggol East single-seat ward in a 2013 by-election, the AHTC expanded into the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), which continued to be run by FMSS.

Since 2013, the WP and the PAP have been engaged in a debate over financial lapses at the town council. Since July, the WP has taken over direct management of the AHPETC, as no management agent had submitted a bid.

The WP has to set up a new town council if it wins more constituencies as the Town Councils Act does not allow more than three constituencies to be run as a town.

Mr Yee last night also referred to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's remarks on Sunday that Aljunied GRC voters can "have their cake and eat it" as they can vote for the PAP and still have Non-Constituency MPs to speak in Parliament.

But he said this was the PAP wanting "another blank cheque".

"They want to move Singapore back to the dark days of politics, where they can do anything they want and there's nobody there to check them."

In an earlier speech, East Coast GRC candidate Gerald Giam said the People's Action Party (PAP) was employing a "scare tactic" by saying that the WP is seeking to form the government "in the near future".

But the WP is contesting only 28 out of 89 seats available, he said. "Even if we were to win all constituencies we are contesting, we will still have only 31 per cent of seats."

"Until you hear us say vote for us to form the next government, don't believe our opponents who say that we have hidden agendas."

Mr Giam added he had "more faith in our voters" than the PAP. "To them, voters are gullible and will vote for any party that promises giveaways that will drain reserves," he said.

But past election results, coupled with his interactions with residents, showed that Singaporeans want a good government.

"There's no such thing as a freak election result because any result in a free and fair election is the will of the people," he said.

ziliang@sph.com.sg