The candidates: PAP

Projects of the Govt ' likely to go on as planned'

Singapore's Law and Foreign  Minister K Shanmugam (second right) attends a People's Action Party news conference to unveil new candidates ahead of General Election 2015 on Aug 26, 2015.
Singapore's Law and Foreign  Minister K Shanmugam (second right) attends a People's Action Party news conference to unveil new candidates ahead of General Election 2015 on Aug 26, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

Whether constituency plans will come to fruition if the PAP team is not elected depends on the type of project, said Law and Foreign Minister K.Shanmugam at a press conference to introduce candidates for Nee Soon GRC.

He was responding to a question about whether PAP candidates - many of whom are rolling out constituency plans ahead of the September polls - would fulfil their promises if they were not elected.

Some, like the upcoming Thomson East Coast MRT line which runs through part of the GRC, are "the plans of the Government" and are likely to go on as planned.

But some projects are planned by the town council, and others depend on the extent individual MPs engage the various agencies involved, he said.

Projects by the town council "depend on who runs it, how much money there is, and how well you run it", he said, in a thinly-veiled reference to the ongoing spat between the Government and the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

He cited the role played by PAP slate-mate Lee Bee Wah, an engineer, in the design of an upcoming town centre as an example of how some projects are influenced by the working relationship between agencies and MPs.

"We wanted an integrated bus station different from the original plans. So even if it is the Government's plans, you can, in Bee Wah's words, 'fight about it' and make some changes," he said.

This depends on an MP's ability to persuade agencies that such changes are good, he added.

As for whether PAP candidates would stay on to push such plans if they were not voted, he said that it would be up to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the ruling party's secretary-general.

"But I've served here for 27 years, and even the new candidates have been here for several years. And I'm sure we will want to serve the residents."

Rachel Au-Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Projects of the Govt ' likely to go on as planned''. Print Edition | Subscribe