Singapore GE2020: Potong Pasir candidates announce their five-year plans for town

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin of the People's Action Party and Mr Jose Raymond of the Singapore People's Party speaking at the Kong Hwa School nomination centre on June 30, 2020. PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Candidates contesting Potong Pasir SMC on Wednesday (July 1) rolled out their plans for the constituency with Mr Sitoh Yih Pin of the People's Action Party (PAP) promising a polyclinic and Mr Jose Raymond of the Singapore People's Party (SPP) spelling out his vision for a more compassionate society.

Mr Sitoh, who is seeking a third consecutive term as Potong Pasir MP, said he and his team have transformed Potong Pasir, "building and improving both its hardware and heartware" for three generations of residents.

In his manifesto, which details plans for the next five years, the 56-year-old promised a polyclinic and an activity hub for residents, and also vowed to deliver programmes such as digital-skills upgrading for the middle-aged and senior residents.

The polyclinic will be located in Bidadari, where the Cedar Girls' School running track used to be.

Mr Raymond, who spelt out his plans online, is promising to set up a Community Geriatric Programme to improve access to mental health and disability support for residents.

He also said if elected, he will conduct a town audit with seniors and the physically disabled to identify physical hazards in the neighbourhood, and set up a recyclables collection service with incentives for residents who recycle.

Mr Raymond, 48, said residents need to be consulted more often, highlighting the decision to build a nursing home in Potong Pasir.

Singapore's largest single-site nursing home operator Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will be building three new eldercare facilities - two community care centres and a nursing home - by 2021.

The nursing home, which will have 438 beds, will be in Potong Pasir.

"How many residents of Potong Pasir were actually engaged before it was announced (in May 2018) that there will be a nursing home being built in the estate?" Mr Raymond said.

The Health Ministry had previously said that more nursing home beds would be needed with the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above projected to double to 900,000 by 2030.

Potong Pasir was the stronghold of Mr Chiam See Tong from 1984 until 2011, when he left to run as part of SPP's slate which contested Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC unsuccessfully.

In the 2011 General Election, his wife Lina Chiam stood in Potong Pasir and lost to Mr Sitoh, who won with a narrow 114 vote margin.

Mr Sitoh improved his showing in 2015 with 66.4 per cent of the vote against Mrs Chiam.

Potong Pasir's electoral boundaries were changed for the first time in more than three decades in the latest Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report.

It will feature an extra 5,404 voters, as it has taken in parts of Marine Parade GRC, bringing the total number of voters in the constituency to 18,551.

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