MPs should focus on laws, not town councils: NSP

National Solidarity Party acting secretary-general Hazel Poa speaks to the media after a meeting at National Solidarity Party's headquarters on Aug 3, 2015.
National Solidarity Party acting secretary-general Hazel Poa speaks to the media after a meeting at National Solidarity Party's headquarters on Aug 3, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

Members of Parliament are lawmakers first and should focus on issues that affect Singaporeans' lives - not the running of town councils, the National Solidarity Party's (NSP) Ms Hazel Poa has said.

She disagreed with the view of Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean who, in remarks to reporters last Friday, said that MPs have two key responsibilities: contributing to national policymaking and running a town council well.

His remarks were aimed at the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council, which is in the spotlight over governance and accounting lapses.

Ms Poa, the NSP's acting secretary-general, was responding yesterday during a walkabout in Yishun Avenue 11 to questions of when NSP candidates would be unveiled.

She said this would be done in the last week of August, and added later that the focus of MPs should be "their contributions in Parliament, to enact laws that affect the lives of every Singaporean".

She said that, should the NSP be elected, the party would hire its own team to manage town councils, rather than subcontract the work to a managing agent.

The area that she and her team visited yesterday is in Sembawang GRC, where the NSP aims to field a team in the next election.

The People's Action Party (PAP) team they will face is led by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and comprises corporate lawyer Amrin Amin, backbenchers Lim Wee Kiak and Vikram Nair, and Keppel Corporation director of group strategy Ong Ye Kung.

Mr Ong was part of the PAP's Aljunied GRC team that lost to the WP in 2011.

Ms Poa was glad that Mr Ong is making a comeback but said it would have been a better show of his commitment to residents if he had returned to contest Aljunied GRC instead.

She declined to name the NSP's Sembawang slate but earlier introduced businessman Spencer Ng, 36, and real estate agent Eugene Yeo, 40, as potential candidates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'MPs should focus on laws, not town councils: NSP'. Print Edition | Subscribe