PAP announces team for resurrected Jalan Besar GRC

PAP's four-member Jalan Besar team (from left) Heng Chee How, Denise Phua, Yaacob Ibrahim and Lily Neo on Aug 16, 2015.
PAP's four-member Jalan Besar team (from left) Heng Chee How, Denise Phua, Yaacob Ibrahim and Lily Neo on Aug 16, 2015.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim trying his hand at making teh tarik as his Jalan Besar GRC team members (from left) Lily Neo, Denise Phua and Heng Chee How look on.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim trying his hand at making teh tarik as his Jalan Besar GRC team members (from left) Lily Neo, Denise Phua and Heng Chee How look on. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
PAP's four-member Jalan Besar team (from left) Lily Neo, Yaacob Ibrahim, Denise Phua and Heng Chee How on Aug 16, 2015.
PAP's four-member Jalan Besar team (from left) Lily Neo, Yaacob Ibrahim, Denise Phua and Heng Chee How on Aug 16, 2015.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Dr Yaacob and his team handing out food to the residents at the Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront on Aug 16, 2015.
Dr Yaacob and his team handing out food to the residents at the Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront on Aug 16, 2015.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) on Sunday introduced its four candidates for the resurrected Jalan Besar GRC at a ceremony, which also saw the team unveil a five-year master plan for the estate.

The team will be led by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim. It will also comprise Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Heng Chee How, Central District Singapore mayor Denise Phua, and veteran backbencher Lily Neo.

Jalan Besar GRC was resurrected in the recent electoral boundaries review, and replaces the dissolved Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

Only Dr Yaacob and Ms Phua will remain from the current Moulmein-Kallang GRC team. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced last week that hehas decided to retire from politics, while first-term MP Edwin Tong is expected to run as a candidate in Marine Parade GRC at the next general election.

Taking their place are Dr Neo, whose Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward has been moved from Tanjong Pagar GRC to Jalan Besar GRC in the recent electoral boundaries review, and Mr Heng, whose Whampoa single-seat has been absorbed into the GRC.

Dr Yaacob, speaking to reporters, emphasised the team's collective experience of about 60 years and their track record in managing the town council. He said: "We have managed the town council well in terms of governance, transparency. And our financials are very healthy."

Added Ms Phua: "It's one thing to turn up and shake hands once every few years and give out some bagts of rice. But it is another thing to address the real needs of the people and slog on a more regular basis."

The team is likely to face the Workers' Party (WP) at the upcoming polls. Accounting and governance lapses have been uncovered at the WP-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

Meanwhile, the team on Sunday announced its five-year concept master plan, themed My Kampung In The City, pledging to implement some 200 improvement projects worth $20 million to spruce up what is often seen as an old estate.

The drafting of the master plan was spearheaded by Mr Tong, who is chairman of the Moulmein-Kallang Town Council. Among the projects in store are 22 covered walkways, 37 playgrounds, 37 fitness corners, 11 residents' corners, 17 amphitheatres or community halls, and eight community gardens.

Meanwhile, the town council also has plans to carry out the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme to four precincts.

The Government, too, will implement new and upgrading works such as the Housing Board's Home Improvement Programme and Lift Upgrading Programme. Residents can also expect four new MRT stations in the estate, as well as the Land Transport Authority to perform road-widening works.

Mr Tong told The Straits Times that it was "very bittersweet" not being able to see through the master plan. He said: "I leave with a tinge of sadness but I'm confident it is in good hands."