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PM Lee: I wanted to give residents their own MP in Parliament

Published on Jan 9, 2013 5:00 PM
 
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he called a quick by-election in Punggol East to give residents their own MP in Parliament before the nation focuses back on national issues. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he called a quick by-election in Punggol East to give residents their own MP in Parliament before the nation focuses back on national issues.

He noted that the country has a busy national agenda this year.

"The White Paper on Population will soon be debated in Parliament. Budget 2013 is around the corner. The Our Singapore Conversation is translating the views of citizens into programmes to improve our lives. Sustaining economic growth and raising workers' incomes is a continuing preoccupation, especially in a weak global economy," he said in a statement.

PM Lee said that after the resignation of then Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer in December, his first priority was to look after the residents in the constituency. Thus, Minister of State Teo Ser Luck started overseeing the constituency and Mr Zainal Sapari took over as town council chairman.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also took a personal interest in the welfare of residents there.

Added PM Lee: "I hope Punggol East residents will vote for the candidate who can best represent them in Parliament, solve their problems and improve their lives."

There has been no official announcement of candidates from the party but speculation is rife that the PAP could field colorectal surgeon Koh Poh Koon there. The 40-year-old was spotted at a Meet-the-People session in Punggol East on Tuesday night.

 

PM Lee's statement in full:

After Mr Michael Palmer resigned on 12 Dec 2012 as Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for Punggol East constituency, my first priority was to look after the residents of Punggol East. Minister of State/Mayor Teo Ser Luck has been overseeing the constituency, while Mr Zainal Sapari has been chairing the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council. DPM Teo Chee Hean has also taken a personal interest in the residents' welfare.

We have a busy national agenda this year. The White Paper on Population will soon be debated in Parliament. Budget 2013 is around the corner. The Our Singapore Conversation is translating the views of citizens into programmes to improve our lives. Sustaining economic growth and raising workers' incomes is a continuing preoccupation, especially in a weak global economy.

I have decided to hold a by-election in Punggol East to give the residents their own MP in Parliament, before we focus back on these national issues. So today I advised the President to issue the Writ of Election.

I hope Punggol East residents will vote for the candidate who can best represent them in Parliament, solve their problems and improve their lives.

 

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