GE2020 SINGAPORE VOTES: BATTLEGROUNDS SENGKANG

GE2020: WP team to establish new town council in Sengkang

The WP team thanked voters for their support after winning Sengkang GRC with 52.13 per cent of the votes.
The WP team thanked voters for their support after winning Sengkang GRC with 52.13 per cent of the votes.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The Workers' Party (WP) team that won Sengkang GRC will establish a new town council after the party discusses how it wants to proceed with the matter, said its secretary-general Pritam Singh.

"As is the case in any election, if there is a change of town council, the current contractors will still continue to do their work. The expectation is that they will continue as if nothing has really changed," he told reporters after the results of Friday's general election were announced.

He added that existing contracts will continue to run.

"At the appropriate time, in accordance with the Town Councils Act, we will have to move forward with the town council for Sengkang," he said.

Asked if he was concerned that the handover might be difficult, Mr Singh said the Ministry of National Development has acknowledged that handovers between town councils could be improved and it has introduced guidelines for this.

"We will go into that transition in good faith. I think the experience of 2011 should make us wiser as to how we should manage a handover and we'll keep that in mind," he said, referring to the WP's takeover of the Aljunied Town Council after its historic win in the 2011 election.

The WP team led by lawyer He Ting Ru thanked voters for their support after clinching the new Sengkang GRC with 52.13 per cent of the votes.

Addressing Sengkang voters directly, Ms He said: "Thank you so much for the trust and the leap of faith that you have taken in our team here today. We will work hard to make sure that this trust is not misplaced."

Ms He, who unsuccessfully contested in Marine Parade GRC in the previous election, also thanked the losing People's Action Party team for "a clean and decent fight", as well as election officials and WP volunteers.

 
 
 

"The number of young people who have come out to walk with us, to volunteer, and who have expressed their interest and their hope for a better future of Singapore has really touched me," she said. "This is really important for the future of our country and this bodes very well for us."

Speaking in Mandarin, equity analyst Louis Chua said the team will work hard in the next five years and spare no effort in serving Sengkang residents.

HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE

The number of young people who have come out to walk with us, to volunteer, and who have expressed their interest and their hope for a better future of Singapore has really touched me... This is really important for the future of our country and this bodes very well for us.

MS HE TING RU

Ms Raeesah Khan, whose social media comments from earlier this year and 2018 on race and religion are the subject of an ongoing police investigation, thanked Singaporeans for supporting her throughout the campaign.

She said: "Words can't describe how grateful I am for your support and I hope I'll do you proud and I look forward to representing you in Parliament."

Rounding out the team's thank-you speeches was Dr Jamus Lim, whose remarks seemed geared to the party's younger voters.

"It warms the cockles of our hearts to be able to work for the people of Sengkang, and for all Singaporeans," he said as he flashed a "finger heart" gesture made popular by Korean pop idols.

His use of the phrase "warms the cockles of my heart" during a mid-campaign televised debate had captured the attention of many netizens who were not familiar with it and it quickly became associated with Dr Lim in online discussions.

"We hope that we've inspired you, all of you, to believe that the dream of an alternative future is only as far away as the courage to seize the opportunities that come your way," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2020, with the headline 'WP team to establish new town council in Sengkang'. Subscribe