In her maiden election rally speech, the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate for the new Fengshan single-member constituency (SMC), Ms Cheryl Chan, cited her track record of volunteering at the constituency to promise that she would strive to improve the lives of residents, if elected.
The areas of improvement include upgrading Housing Board flats, sprucing up the mature estate, as well as programmes for families, elderly residents and less-privileged children in the community.
Ms Chan is the PAP's first new candidate to be fielded in a new SMC since the group representation constituency system was introduced in 1988, and the ruling party is expected to face a tough contest against the Workers' Party here.
Introducing Ms Chan at the rally held in Bedok North, the ward's retiring MP Raymond Lim said she was one of the many long-serving grassroots volunteers who are the "unsung heroes" in the community.
He noted that Ms Chan has been volunteering in Fengshan since 2005 and chairing the management committee of the Fengshan Community Club since 2012, apart from being involved in other committees.
He recounted an incident last year where Ms Chan returned from an overseas trip to the United States and took a taxi directly from the airport to Bedok Stadium so that she could take part in a community walk. "Rain or shine, she is there. In all she did, she gave her heart and soul," said Mr Lim.
In a 14-minute speech in Mandarin and English, Ms Chan, a 38-year-old senior executive in a multinational gas and engineering company, said she is a firm believer in "paying it forward".
She noted that the estate has seen major improvements. "Over the past many years, the PAP has improved a lot of infrastructure in Fengshan," she said, citing lift upgrading, covered linkways, playgrounds and fitness corners.
"While a lot has been done, there is a lot more we still have to do," she added. Future improvement works include estate upgrading and programmes for families, seniors and less-privileged children in the community.
"All eligible blocks in Fengshan have received or have been selected for the Home Improvement Programme," she said of the ageing HDB blocks in the ward.
She promised that if elected, she would champion two causes - programmes to help seniors and less- privileged children, including projects to bridge the young and old.
While national policies like the Pioneer Generation Package, MediShield Life and Silver Support Scheme will help seniors, she noted that it is still up to volunteers to provide help for seniors living alone at the community level.
She appealed to voters to support the PAP, which has a strong track record of delivering on what it promises.
"Nation building is a marathon, it is not a sprint," she said of the importance of supporting a party that can ensure Singapore's success in the next 50 years. The general election, she added, "is not a game with a reset button".