Labour chief Chan Chun Sing last night paid tribute to founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Tanjong Pagar GRC National Day dinner, the constituency's first without its longtime MP.
In a speech, Mr Chan called on residents to continue the legacy of Mr Lee, who died on March 23, aged 91.
Mr Chan cited Mr Lee's frugality, socialist ideals and emphasis on unity as key to the nation's success. "This country must never forget its socialist heart, that we will always do more for those with less," he said. "For those with more, it's our responsibility. Only so will we stay as one united people regardless of how tough the competition is."
Mr Chan, who was speaking to about 1,000 residents at Tanjong Pagar Community Club, said that Singapore "must never forget how to muster its resources".
"We have achieved all these miracles because the Government and people have worked together as one united people," he said. "As long as we maintain that tight nexus between the Government and the people, I am confident that we can overcome whatever challenges that come our way."
To that end, Mr Chan promised to take care of the constituency, along with the rest of his team.
Mr Chan was at the dinner with fellow Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs Indranee Rajah, Chia Shi-Lu and Lily Neo, and likely new candidate Joan Pereira. Minister of State and Radin Mas MP Sam Tan was also there.
Another candidate expected to be unveiled as a new face for the constituency in the coming elections is Assistant Commissioner of Police Melvin Yong, 43.
He was not at the dinner last night, but The Straits Times understands that the People's Action Party intends to introduce him next week as a candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC, where Mr Lee was MP until his death.
A police spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Yong will be retiring from the force on Sunday, fuelling speculation that he may be fielded at the polls.
Mr Yong declined to comment on his post-retirement plans but said yesterday that he had "the privilege of serving constituents both as a police officer, as well as a grassroots volunteer, for many years and found it richly rewarding".
He added: "I plan to continue doing so even after I retire from the force."