The candidates: People's Action Party

Sitoh: Judge me on my actions and plans

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (centre) and Potong Pasir residents with copies of the MP's campaign manifesto which outlines his track record as well as future plans for the ward. He won the constituency for the PAP by 114 votes in the 2011 General Election.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (centre) and Potong Pasir residents with copies of the MP's campaign manifesto which outlines his track record as well as future plans for the ward. He won the constituency for the PAP by 114 votes in the 2011 General Election.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

Two PAP veterans are poised for battle in challenging territory this election - Mr Sitoh Yih Pin in Potong Pasir and Mr Charles Chong in Workers' Party-held Punggol East. The Straits Times looks at their preparations on the eve of Nomination Day.

Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin yesterday announced his campaign slogan for the general election as well as his plans for the next five years if he is re-elected.

Mr Sitoh, 51, told reporters at the People's Action Party branch office in his ward that he had completed more than 120 projects and programmes for residents, and a further 22 projects are in the works.

These include activity corners for pet lovers, more conducive study areas and an additional bus service.

Most of these are based on feedback from residents, he added.

He also plans to launch an anti- bird barrier system that he hopes will solve the "31-year-old problem" of pigeons being trapped on the distinctive sloping roofs of 10 blocks in the housing estate, and sometimes falling through ceilings and into residents' flats.

These efforts are outlined in his manifesto, which bears his slogan: "1 vision to actively improve Potong Pasir, working 2gether to unite the community and better the lives of 3 generations."

Mr Sitoh won the long-time opposition stronghold by his party's slimmest winning margin in the 2011 General Election - 114 votes - against challenger Lina Chiam of the Singapore People's Party, and is likely to face her again this time.

He said his chances of retaining the seat are 50-50.

"We have done the best we can since 2011, and since I came here," he said. "I hope that Potong Pasir voters can judge me on what I have done, what I can do and most importantly, on what I am going to do for the next five years."

Mr Sitoh first contested Potong Pasir in the 2001 General Election, winning 47.6 per cent of the vote against opposition veteran Chiam See Tong, who had held the seat since 1984. Even though his share slid to 44.2 per cent in GE 2006, he persevered, and won the seat when Mr Chiam left to contest the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in 2011.

This time round, independent candidate Tan Lam Siong is also set to contest Potong Pasir.

"He said he felt this passion for Potong Pasir," Mr Sitoh said of his brief meeting with Mr Tan recently.

"I just want to say this - passion is a test of time. It took me 11 years of passion and hard work before Potong Pasir residents finally gave me the opportunity to serve them, so when Mr Tan says he has passion, I hope it's not momentary."

As for preparations, Mr Sitoh said: "This is my fourth election. So we prepare for it the way we prepare for every election - posters, banners, cards, manifestos. This was not done in a hurry."

Potong Pasir Town Council vice-chairman Chua Kian Meng, 58, said up to 40 volunteers helped prepare posters and other items on Sunday. He added: "The votes are in the hands of the voters. He has been really very determined to deliver on all his promises. I still think it's 50-50, but you must be optimistic."

Resident Savena Wong, 54, described Mr Sitoh as friendly and approachable, adding: "He does a lot for us. He built sheltered walkways, and introduced the Home Improvement Programme and lighting for corridors."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2015, with the headline 'Sitoh: Judge me on my actions and plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe