Dishing out new level of service

As the People's Action Party (PAP) announced its candidates across the island in the past 10 days, they unfailingly spoke about serving the people.

Yesterday, the four-member team for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC went a step further.

While a three-man band serenaded about 200 pioneers with a repertoire of golden oldies, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong and backbenchers Alex Yam and Ong Teng Koon picked up serving spoons to dish out plates of food to the residents.

The lunch at the void deck of Block 3, Marsiling Drive, a block of rental flats, preceded a formal introduction of the PAP team that hopes to win the support of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC residents in the coming elections.

Explaining the reason for picking the spot and event, Mr Wong said: "In a way, it reflects what we want to do in our GRC.

"We will have that spirit of service for the residents - to be able to have more programmes to reach out to residents in need... and make sure that, within the GRC, we continue to care for and look after all our residents."

This year, the PAP has bucked its custom of announcing candidates at the party's headquarters in a relatively formal setting.

The venues for its flurry of announcements have been a mixed bag, ranging from coffee shops and branch offices to homes for the elderly and void decks.

Yesterday, Mr Lim Biow Chuan took a stroll down memory lane at an exhibition with Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, before announcing he would defend Mountbatten SMC.

Mr Lim, a two-term MP, mingled with residents at the "Memories of Mountbatten" exhibition, which looks at how the town has changed over the years, while children played traditional games, including hopscotch.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor chose a void-deck setting to announce that she will stand once more in Hong Kah North SMC.

She was at Block 325, Bukit Batok Street 33, where she spoke to a group of elderly residents who gather regularly to make items such as artificial flowers or friendship bands.

Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh, Melissa Lin and Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Dishing out new level of service'. Print Edition | Subscribe