PAP rallies: At lunchtime and at night

Jobless insurance not a cure: Amy Khor

Dr Amy Khor PAP candidate for Mountbatten SMC during the PAP rally at the former Hong Kah Primary School on Sept 8, 2015.
Dr Amy Khor PAP candidate for Mountbatten SMC during the PAP rally at the former Hong Kah Primary School on Sept 8, 2015.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

The Singapore People's Party's (SPP's) proposal of unemployment insurance treats the symptoms but not the root causes of unemployment and underemployment, charged People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Amy Khor.

"It's like giving antibiotics to treat a viral flu," said the Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower at her rally for Hong Kah North SMC in Bukit Batok West.

In their rallies last night, Dr Khor and Mr Lim Biow Chuan, the PAP candidate for Mountbatten SMC, attacked their SPP rivals' policy proposals. They are facing blogger Ravi Philemon and lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss respectively.

Dr Khor said the unemployment insurance put forward by Mr Philemon is costly and does not solve the underlying problem of skills mismatch in a changing global economy. She also called his suggested pension scheme unsustainable in an ageing population, and said his proposal for Singaporeans to get first priority for jobs would be too limiting, and will hurt local firms. "SPP's suggestions are populist and they may give you relief for the moment, but you get a bigger headache the next day," she said.

Over at Stadium Drive, Mr Lim questioned the dedication of his opponent, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, saying she had done little after losing the fight for the same ward in 2011.

Mr Lim, an MP for Mountbatten SMC for nine years, also took issue with proposals in Mrs Chong- Aruldoss' manifesto for the ward, such as a $100,000 social mobility bursary for young residents.

"Why didn't she set it up after 2011? If she feels that there is a need to help residents, why must she wait four years to do so?"

Mr Lim also said her call for the conservation of Dakota Crescent is "not a new idea" - he had made such a call too - and questioned her experience in running a town council: "There is nothing that (she) can do that I am unable to do better."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Jobless insurance not a cure: Amy Khor'. Print Edition | Subscribe