PAP press conference

Voters know score on AHPETC: PM

Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.
Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

After several days of highlighting lapses in the Workers' Party-run town council, the People's Action Party is moving on from focusing on the subject, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

He said the PAP's message - that voters are electing a government that must make things work and take responsibility when things go wrong - was getting across.

"People have understood that to be the government of the country, first you must demonstrate that you have that capability and you've got to run your town council well," said Mr Lee at a press conference at PAP headquarters.

This was why the debate over the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) is significant, and it is an important issue for voters to consider before they vote.

The issue has been extensively argued, with the PAP's leaders making clear the Government's position and the facts of the case, and the WP responding, even during its rallies.

"I think the facts have exposed a raw nerve," said Mr Lee.

And when the dust of the debate settles, it will be clear that sensitive and important questions need to be answered, he said.

"So we've made our points. I think the voters are clear-eyed, they know what this is about. They can make up their minds. I think we can leave it to them," said Mr Lee.

When asked later about the claims of candidates from other parties that they were credible and had integrity, Mr Lee reiterated that voters were discerning and could decide for themselves, based on facts.

Enough had been said about AHPETC and "some of the other candidates who have records", he said.

He added: "You cannot expect any person in the middle of an election to say: 'Mea culpa, I lack integrity and credibility.'

"When people are uncertain, I think if you Google-search on the Internet and type names in... you will find out what the facts are and you can decide for yourself. So I think there is no doubt at all."

Charissa Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'Voters know score on AHPETC: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe