PAP offers report card, and says it's a good one

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaking at a PAP rally on Sept 9.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaking at a PAP rally on Sept 9.PHOTO: AFP

The People's Action Party (PAP) has presented its report card to Singaporeans in this general election, and it is the basis on which it is seeking a new mandate, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

The report card shows improvements in areas like housing, where 100,000 new Housing Board flats have been built, and new schemes launched to help the middle class, young couples and low-income families, he added.

"For the seniors who deserve peace of mind in their golden years, we've got the Pioneer Generation Package (which) reduced their medical bills, we've got the CPF improved, and we've got Silver Support to help them have a pension in old age," said Mr Lee at a rally in Jalan Besar GRC last night that wrapped up the campaign.

Singaporeans have a hand in the score because their views were included in the policies, Mr Lee noted. "So if it is a good report card, we can all congratulate ourselves that we have made progress."

He said opposition parties also ought to present their report cards to Singaporeans. "Otherwise (it is) not fair," he said, drawing cheers.

He also hit out at parties that dredge up issues like housing, transport, immigration and healthcare that annoy people and make a fuss in elections.

"They stir it up, they make rousing speeches, they see which catches fire, when people boo loudest, they make more speeches," he said. "It is upside down."

Speaking in Mandarin, he said he has presented the report card with a clear conscience. "What we should have done, we have already done, what have to be changed, we have already started.

"Think about this: The Government gives its all to serve the people, it hopes that the people will give their heart to the Government, do you think it is reasonable?"

Maintaining the report card analogy, Jalan Besar GRC candidate Denise Phua urged voters to start recognising good performance. "If Singaporeans keep on casting votes to the opposition despite the PAP Government trying harder, then you are just like the parents who keep punishing a child who brings back a good report card but is not 100 per cent perfect," she said.

Citing the outpouring of grief and eulogies after founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died, and the messages of appreciation that

outgoing transport minister Lui Tuck Yew received only after he said he was stepping down from politics, Ms Phua asked: "Why do we wait until people are gone before we recognise their diligence and their good work?"

Dr Lily Neo spelt out a local report card of her ward where she has implemented more than 20 projects and programmes .

The four-member team in the GRC has put in 60 years of service as MPs, she pointed out.

In a fluent Teochew speech, Mr Heng Chee How noted that the Boon Keng area where the rally was held saw tremendous improvements over 50 years. The progress was possible because Singaporeans supported the Government, he said.

Mr Lee said such strong public support is important for political leaders. "In the Singapore system, entering politics is not the road to wealth but a path of sacrifice and hardship," he said in Mandarin.

He warned that capable and committed people will find it meaningless to step forward and serve if all they receive are sarcasm and tirades.

"For the Singapore system to sustain and the miracle to continue, we need the Government, the PAP and the people's support," said Mr Lee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2015, with the headline 'PAP offers report card, and says it's a good one'. Print Edition | Subscribe