PAP rallies: At lunchtime and at night

Let's tackle problems together: Ng Eng Hen

Mr Ng Eng Hen speaks at the PAP rally (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) on Sept 8, 2015 held at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
Mr Ng Eng Hen speaks at the PAP rally (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) on Sept 8, 2015 held at the Toa Payoh Stadium.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Singaporeans should put aside their political differences after Polling Day and come together to address problems facing the country, People's Action Party (PAP) organising secretary Ng Eng Hen said last night.

Many issues - about the population, economy, education, social support, foreign workers - have been raised during the campaign, and some ideas put forward were more viable than others, he said.

He wants to see as many workable ideas as possible adopted, even if from the opposition, and younger people must also be engaged, he told a rally in Bishan- Toa Payoh GRC. "After this election, I intend to continue speaking to them, even some in the opposition parties," he said.

Dr Ng, who leads the PAP team in the GRC, said problems could be dealt with "not by shouting matches, jeering... but by dealing with realities squarely and listening to and engaging Singaporeans". This is necessary in the light of Singapore's major challenges, not least the shortage of workers and the rapidly ageing society. Social safety nets have to be strengthened and the needs of specific groups, such as older workers and young families, met.

He said Singapore needed more good minds, capable ministers and good MPs to help tackle these challenges and his teammates - Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo and newcomers Chee Hong Tat, Chong Kee Hiong and Saktiandi Supaat - were such capable and hardworking people.

Fourth-generation leaders like them would be the ones to complete programmes started by his generation of leaders, said Dr Ng.

In her speech, Mrs Teo said that although the PAP would not always be right about everything, if it worked together with Singaporeans on difficult decisions, it could be "mostly right about most things".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Let's tackle problems together: Ng Eng Hen'. Print Edition | Subscribe