WP chief Low presses on with town council issue

Worker's Party Chief Low Thia Khiang holding a piece of paper stating that Punggol East SMC had a deficit of $280,000 before the WP took over.
Worker's Party Chief Low Thia Khiang holding a piece of paper stating that Punggol East SMC had a deficit of $280,000 before the WP took over. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang accused the People's Action Party (PAP) last night of misleading voters over the town council issue.

He went on the offensive at the WP rally in Punggol East last night, when he held up a printout of the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council's accounts for April 2013 that showed a deficit of more than $280,000.

Both Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and the PAP's Punggol East candidate Charles Chong had said that the accounts were in the black, Mr Low said. "I want the PAP to respond to the WP and the residents of Punggol East - 'Where is the money?'" he asked.

Mr Low also said the PAP had not explained adequately why it said that Hougang Town Council was in deficit when it joined Aljunied Town Council in 2011, whereas its accounts showed a surplus.

The management of town councils has been a prominent issue in the first half of campaigning for the General Election, with PAP leaders accusing the WP of lapses in its running of the Aljunied-Hougang- Punggol East Town Council.

Last night's WP rally was one of six held by opposition parties across Singapore.

At the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) rally for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, SDP chief Chee Soon Juan pledged to work with the PAP on policies that benefit the people.

"The PAP is not all bad. Some of the MPs genuinely work and care for the people. But by the same token, neither is the opposition the useless destructive force that the PAP paints us out to be," he said.

It was a point he also made during a walkabout earlier in the day, when he said Singaporeans were seeking a constructive opposition and liked what they saw in the SDP.

At their rallies and during walkabouts, opposition candidates of different parties painted a picture that all was not well in Singapore, offering numerous suggestions.

Opposition veteran Chiam See Tong, who is not contesting the election, urged voters to back his Singapore People's Party candidates.

Pointing out that his wife, Mrs Lina Chiam, asked the most questions in Parliament last year as a Non-Constituency MP, he said: "She asked over 70 questions in one year, more than her PAP rival."

She is up against the PAP's Mr Sitoh Yih Pin in Mr Chiam's old ward, Potong Pasir.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'WP chief Low presses on with town council issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe