SINGAPORE - Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad, who has taken on Madam Halimah Yacob's role as grassroots adviser to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, said he has "big shoes to fill", but pledged to work hard with the constituency's other MPs to ensure things continue running smoothly.
Addressing residents in Marsiling for the first time, Mr Zaqy, 42, said during a National Day celebration event on Wednesday (Aug 9) that he will spend the next few weeks learning about the constituency.
"She definitely leaves very big shoes to fill, so I hope I'm able to continue and meet expectations," Mr Zaqy said at the event that Madam Halimah was also at.
He said his predecessor has done much in Marsiling, with a focus on helping low-income families and health programmes.
He added that he will look into several ongoing projects Madam Halimah has started, such as a new hawker centre and dialysis centre, and the enhancement of bus services in the area.
Madam Halimah, who will run for president in the coming election, resigned as MP of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, Speaker of Parliament and member of the People's Action Party on Monday.
Mr Zaqy, who was appointed a day after to take on her role in the group representation constituency, said his 11 years of experience as an MP will hopefully "speed up the learning curve", in getting familiarised with his new constituency, and learning the aspirations and needs of the residents there.
He continues to serve as grassroots adviser to neighbouring Chua Chu Kang GRC.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who anchors the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, also assured residents that he will work with Mr Zaqy and the other two incumbent MPs, Mr Ong Teng Koon and Mr Alex Yam, to ensure constituency activities and Meet-the-People sessions will be covered.
Asked about Mr Zaqy's double-hatting, Mr Wong told reporters: "It's not just one person, but all four of us coming together to support Marsiling and making sure that the residents here are well served."
In celebration of Singapore's 52nd birthday, residents of Marsiling constituency, together with Madam Halimah and Mr Zaqy, applied the finishing touches on a 52m-long banner painting that charts the development of the nation from its year of independence till today.
The artwork, which took three months and more than 100 volunteers to create, set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records for the Longest Banner of Historical Drawings.