Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/20/2013 22:44 | By Channel NewsAsia

By—election is about choosing the right candidate who can serve: minister

By—election is about choosing the right candidate who can serve: minister

By—election is about choosing the right candidate who can serve: minister

SINGAPORE: The Punggol East by—election is not about voting more opposition into Parliament or to further the interests of the opposition, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said.

He said it is about electing the right candidate who can best serve the residents in the ward.

Mr Heng said these in response to comments made by the Workers’ Party (WP) secretary—general Low Thia Khiang at the WP rally on Saturday.

Mr Low had said that residents should vote for the opposition to make the government work harder for them.

Mr Heng said: "Well, maybe that’s the basis on which the Workers’ Party operates and the basis on which it is motivated. If that is the case, I think voters should look at what the various MPs have done, and what they have contributed in their constituencies and in Parliament, and I think they will come to the conclusion that they should vote for the PAP to make the Workers’ Party work harder for you."

Mr Heng said the government is already working hard to improve the lives of Singaporeans. He said the support given by the people will not be taken for granted.

"It is an important responsibility to improve the lives of all Singaporeans, to build a better future for our children, to take the country forward and we take this responsibility seriously and we are working hard because we want to serve our people not because of opposition members in Parliament," said Mr Heng.

Mr Heng pointed out that the government introduces initiatives to help build a better nation for the people and not because it is prompted by opposition members in Parliament to do so.

"Our responsibilities are to our people and to do our best to create a better future for all. Do not be misled. For example, in education we have been investing in and improving our education system all these years, even when there were no opposition in Parliament," he shared.

Mr Heng described the People’s Action Party candidate Koh Poh Koon as a sincere, dedicated and hardworking man.

He said Dr Koh will work hard to understand the needs of the residents and work with ministers to convey feedback to improve the lives of residents.

"So I urge voters to focus on what Koh Poh Koon can do for them, how he can contribute to a better life and how he can contribute to your future. So, voters should cast their votes based on who is the best person who can serve and not for them to serve the interests of an opposition party," Mr Heng said.

— CNA/ck/fa

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