GE2015: 7 Things Spotted On The Campaign Trail, Sept 4 edition

SINGAPORE - The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol-East (AHPETC) saga might have been at the centre of the hustings so far, but there was a fair bit of gunpowder as candidates traded barbs over other issues on Day 4 of campaigning too. Here are seven things that got our attention on Friday (Sept 4):

1. I'm a mother, and that's not weak

A day after MacPherson rival Cheo Chai Chen called her new role as a mother a "weakness", Ms Tin Pei Ling fought back.

The People's Action Party (PAP) candidate emphasised her commitment to the ward where she has served since 2011 in a Facebook post, noting that she is confident she can juggle being an MP and a new mother well.

Ms Tin returned to work just two weeks after delivering her first child on Aug 5.

Mr Cheo later said his comments on Ms Tin was meant as a joke and that he "did not mean it to be taken seriously".

Elections are serious matters, Mr Cheo, and jokes are meant to be funny.

2. Cheo hammers Workers' Party

Cheo Chai Chen and other NSP candidates at a walkabout in MacPherson SMC. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

He referred to what he said about Ms Tin as a "joke", but National Solidarity Party's Cheo Chai Chen's other comments of the day probably were not banter.

The former Nee Soon Central MP distributed fliers on Friday that targeted the Workers' Party, calling the WP "arrogant" for not allowing MacPherson to be a straight fight between the ruling PAP and another opposition party.

He wrote in the fliers: "It is regretted, there is an arrogant opposition party does not want to give co-operation."

Mr Cheo later said he is more qualified than his two rivals because he is "older" and therefore more experienced.

3. Wheely, wheely fast

Speed is of the essence when you have more places to go and people to greet than you have time.

Some brisk walk. Others, like Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, make it a "runabout". Not to be outdone, his Marine Parade rival, Workers' Party candidate Yee Jenn Jong, rolled the wheels instead.

The 50-year-old's family went door to door at the Opera Estate neighbourhood in roller blades. Way to up the ante, Mr Yee.

4. To Sir, with love

Schools commemorate Teachers' Day on Sept 4, and many candidates did not forget to pay tributes to educators. Many did it through multiple languages, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong leading the way with a Chinese idiom.

Labour chief Chan Chun Sing took it one step further with his use of English, Mandarin and later Malay.

Fellow party mates Darryl David, Lim Wee Kiak and Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin also expressed thanks on their Facebook pages.

5. A kiwi a day keeps the flab away

After seeing candidates down meal after meal of orh luak, carrot cake, roti prata and other rich hawker fare, perhaps some residents felt they needed a healthier boost.

Pasir-Ris Punggol candidate Teo Ser Luck was handed a container of freshly-cut kiwi and strawberries by residents while on the campaign trail. The Minister of State for Trade and Industry, who posted a picture of the fruits on his Facebook page, joked: "Maybe she thinks I put on too much weight and must eat fruits for lunch."

6. Taste of Fengshan 2.0

There will be no speculation over whether Ms Sylvia Lim is running in Fengshan this time. The Workers' Party stalwart served up another "heavenly" taste of Fengshan during a walkabout at the Fengshan food centre, when the WP team stopped for a quick breakfast break. What was different this time was that the "heavenly taste" was of chee cheong fun, not orh luak.

What stayed the same: the same #reasonstowin.

7. I carry the DPM in my pocket

Some carry pictures of their loved ones with them. Others carry a photo of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Former teacher Michael Chin, 75, was at the Chinese Garden MRT station distributing newspapers to commuters when he saw Yuhua candidate Grace Fu of the PAP.

He rushed up to her for a photo before pulling out some of his own - old, yellowed photos of himself with DPM Teo Chee Hean. Said the PAP supporter: "PAP all the way! Sweep everything!"