SINGAPORE - The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has used the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council saga to carry out political smearing against the Workers' Party (WP) so as to score political capital, said the opposition party chief Low Thia Khiang at an election rally on Thursday evening (Sept 3).
He cited various instances in which the PAP government ministers had said the AHPETC, which runs the Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol Single-Member Constituencies as a town, used its surplus to cover losses incurred by the Hougang Town Council.
These include Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan's comments in 2014 and also Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's remarks in August, said Mr Low.
The Hougang Town Council was run by Mr Low before it was merged in 2011 to become the AHTC after the WP won the Aljunied GRC. It expanded to become the AHPETC in 2013 after the party won in the Punggol East by-election.
"(Law Minister) K. Shanmugam also said sarcastically that voters need to decide if they want to cover our losses in town council," added Mr Low, speaking in Mandarin in the first of his two speeches on Thursday.
"I'm telling you seriously: Under WP, the Hougang ward had no financial difficulties before it joined Aljunied on May 26, 2011, and had surplus of $80,000."
Mr Low said the PAP ministers have distracted and misled voters as he asked if they still have any credibility to talk about.
"The PAP says constantly that it is focused on self-renewal," he added.
"But they only change the soup, not the medicine. After so many years, the PAP is still narrow-minded and cannot take people who have different views.
"I want to ask Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: is this the quality of PAP?"
Mr Low also told the crowd at the Boon Keng area in the Jalan Besar GRC that one should not be regarded as unpatriotic for disagreeing with government policies.
"As a democratic society, we shouldn't treat politics and elections as war, and whack opponents at all cost - we need constructive debate and constructive politics.
"At this election, use the vote in your hand to send the right signal and tell PAP that Singaporeans reject such under-handed and dirty politics," said Mr Low.