Workers' Party

Candidates pledge to widely consult residents

The Workers' Party during its outreach at a coffeeshop.
The Workers' Party during its outreach at a coffeeshop. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Workers' Party (WP) candidates are focusing their attention on cost of living and municipal issues, having heard that these are weighing on the minds of residents.

According to party candidates in three constituencies, HDB prices as well as localised issues such as elderly friendly amenities stood at the top of residents' concerns.

In East Coast GRC, which is expected to be hotly contested, WP candidate Gerald Giam, 37, said his team compiled a list of municipal concerns such as cleanliness and lift maintenance that they tried to help with. In some cases, they referred such problems to the East Coast Town Council.

If elected, "we'll ensure that we consult widely and talk to as many residents as possible to understand what their actual needs are before we start building covered walkways and other amenities", Mr

Giam said during a walkabout at the Block 58 Market and Hawker Centre in Upper Changi Road.

He was joined by his East Coast team members, consultancy firm chief executive Leon Perera, 44, sociology professor Daniel Goh, 42, and former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36.

Also present was the candidate for the Fengshan single-seat ward, Mr Dennis Tan, 45, and party chief Low Thia Khiang, 58 .

Sales manager Ahmad Faisal, 35, said he was open to listening to ideas from the WP's team.

In the Kebun Baru division of Nee Soon GRC, WP candidate Cheryl Loh said the elderly there lacked amenities such as ramps so they can move around more easily.

Ms Loh, 31, added that residents told her that standards of cleanliness were slipping: "Sometimes, residents find out from cleaning supervisors that there are not enough staff or helpers to keep the area clean."

Fellow WP Nee Soon candidate Kenneth Foo, 38, said voters he spoke to are still concerned about the prices of public housing. Such issues were raised more than the subject of the WP-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council, which has been in the spotlight over its troubled finances and governance issues.

Retiree M.P. Chia, 62, a resident in the area for 30 years, said the estate is well-maintained but that he is concerned about housing and car prices for his children.

A third walkabout yesterday was at Jalan Besar GRC, where the WP's candidates visited the Whampoa Drive Market and Food Centre with party chairman Sylvia Lim.

Among the residents they met was businessman Greg Tan, a Whampoa resident of 20 years who is in his 40s.

He said he welcomed the WP contesting in the area.

• Additional reporting by Lee Jian Xuan and Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Candidates pledge to widely consult residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe