Vivian-led team to defend seats

PAP MPs (from far left) Christopher de Souza, Sim Ann, Vivian Balakrishnan and Liang Eng Hwa will defend their seats in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Dr Teo Ho Pin (right) will also defend Bukit Panjang SMC.
PAP MPs (from far left) Christopher de Souza, Sim Ann, Vivian Balakrishnan and Liang Eng Hwa will defend their seats in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Dr Teo Ho Pin (right) will also defend Bukit Panjang SMC.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The incumbent People's Action Party (PAP) MPs for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Bukit Panjang SMC yesterday assured residents of new facilities, more greenery and better connectivity, as they announced they would stay and defend their seats at the general election.

These include a new polyclinic and hawker centre in Senja, a fresh community garden trail and nature park in Bukit Panjang and more covered pedestrian walkways, they said in unveiling the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council's Town Improvement Plan for the next five years.

Also in the pipeline are new train stations on the upcoming Downtown Line 2, a new slip road connecting Senja Road to the Kranji Expressway, and a new boardwalk and multi-purpose stage around Bukit Panjang's Pang Sua Pond for community activities.

The Holland-Bukit Timah GRC team is led by Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and includes Minister of State for Communications and Information; and Education Sim Ann, and backbenchers Christopher de Souza and Liang Eng Hwa.

All four confirmed yesterday that they will defend their seats at the general election. Dr Teo Ho Pin will also defend Bukit Panjang SMC.

All five seats are set to be contested by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) led by Dr Chee Soon Juan.

In the 2011 General Election, Dr Teo secured 66.3 per cent of the votes in Bukit Panjang SMC against SDP's Alec Tok. The Holland-Bukit Timah GRC PAP team won 60.1 per cent of the votes against an SDP team led by former civil servant Tan Jee Say, who now leads the Singaporeans First (SingFirst) party.

Dr Balakrishnan said yesterday that while Singapore has achieved much in the past 50 years, a lot still needs to be done, citing the country's ageing population as one of the huge challenges ahead.

Describing his team as "time-tested" and "experienced", he said voters have to decide "who they trust to look after their future"."Character, integrity, honesty - these are non-negotiable for the PAP."

Asked whether the town improvement plans, which some see as carrots, were part of the PAP's strategy, he said: "These are not carrots. These are carefully thought out, consulted plans with our residents... It is a report card and an opportunity for our residents to judge our performance.

"It's not about promises. Words are cheap. But can you deliver? Can you do what you say?"

Ms Sim said she felt residents saw the team as "energetic problem solvers" and "people with a passionate vision for what the community can do", and hoped they would "let us maintain that momentum".

The MPs also attended the opening of a new PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots pre-school in Segar Road. The centre, which has a niche programme in creative arts, aims to meet rising demand for childcare services in Bukit Panjang.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Vivian-led team to defend seats'. Print Edition | Subscribe