Singapore GE2020: PAP's West Coast slate has breadth of experience, says Iswaran

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran guided by Senior Manager of Jurong Regional Library Lim Lee Ping and National Library Board CEO Ng Cher Pong on July 1, 2020.
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran guided by Senior Manager of Jurong Regional Library Lim Lee Ping and National Library Board CEO Ng Cher Pong on July 1, 2020.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

The People's Action Party (PAP) team in West Coast GRC is a strong one with breadth of experience, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said yesterday.

The team members bring with them expertise in areas such as social services, pre-school education, the environment, healthcare, job creation and youth programmes, he said.

Mr Iswaran is leading the five-member slate with Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who joins West Coast GRC from Jurong GRC next door. The other members are two-term MP Foo Mee Har, a former banker, two-term MP Ang Wei Neng, chief executive of ComfortDelGro Taxi, and new face Rachel Ong, who helped to start youth charity Trybe.

The team, Mr Iswaran said, is able to strike a balance between the ability to think in large policy terms and to execute policies on the ground, and cater to the needs of the very diverse group of residents in the GRC.

He was speaking to reporters during a visit to Jurong Regional Library, which, along with other public libraries, reopened yesterday after a nearly three-month closure due to the circuit breaker period.

The PAP slate is up against a team from Progress Singapore Party led by former PAP stalwart Tan Cheng Bock, a doctor, and his second-in-command Leong Mun Wai, founder of a venture capital firm.

Mr Iswaran said that if the PAP team was elected, the members would combine their strengths to develop programmes that would apply across the GRC. For instance, Mr Ang would take care of providing healthcare services and greater transport connectivity, Ms Foo would focus on jobs, skills, and helping small and medium-sized enterprises, and Ms Ong on issues related to family and youth.

Mr Lee, he said, brings both his experience as a Cabinet minister and as an MP in Jurong Spring for nearly a decade.

Asked how the team planned to reach out to residents in the large GRC given Covid-19 restrictions, Mr Iswaran said it was a challenge, but added: "It is not just about what you do in a nine-day campaign... It is about how we have done this week in, week out over the past five years, in order to understand their needs and respond to them with not just national policies, but also local programmes."

UNDERSTANDING RESIDENTS' NEEDS

It is not just about what you do in a nine-day campaign... It is about how we have done this week in, week out over the past five years, in order to understand their needs and respond to them with not just national policies, but also local programmes.

MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION S. ISWARAN, on reaching out to West Coast GRC voters in an election with restrictions because of Covid-19.

 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2020, with the headline 'PAP's West Coast slate has breadth of experience: Iswaran'. Print Edition | Subscribe