SINGAPORE — The People’s Action Party (PAP) kicked off the first rally of the Punggol East by—election with candidate Dr Koh Poh Koon outlining the three pillars — hope, family, action — that have shaped him and which would form his service to the residents in the single—member constituency.
"I know many people are under a lot of financial pressure. I empathise. We need determination in times like these," said colorectal surgeon Dr Koh.
"We cannot be afraid of challenges, which is why I decided to take up the challenge to serve Punggol East.
"When someone shares a problem with me, my instinct is to see it from his shoes, and try to make it better for him. I believe in actively searching for solutions — there is no problem that cannot be solved if you put your heart and mind to it.
"As your man on the ground, I will bring about concrete improvements so we can enjoy better home and a nicer neighbourhood."
New childcare centres, more sheltered pathways, a job placement centre to help the unemployed and a new coffeeshop at Block 182 would be among the improvements for Punggol East which would be implemented, said Dr Koh.
He added that 50 per cent of the funds needed to fund a new community centre, near Rivervale Plaza, had been raised.
On the issue of transport, Dr Koh said he would push for a dual—carriage LRT system in the neighbourhood, as well as more feeder buses in the areas further from the LRT stops.
Dr Koh said he wants to help build a legacy and an environment that will be better for the children and their future.
"As your voice in Parliament, I will speak on issues that matter to you. I will push for more help, for our fellow citizens in need, the poor, the vulnerable and especially the elderly who have done so much for our society to make it what it is today.
"I will bring up practical issues that families face, on education, on childcare, on the cost of living. I will do all I can to push for policies to help more individuals and families to stand on their own two feet. I want to see more opportunities for all to succeed, the same opportunities given to me."
Also speaking at the rally were Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, Parliamentary Secretary Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah, and three local residents.
Ms Indranee Rajah said the by—election is as important to the PAP as a General Election.
Mr Heng highlighted how the party is aware of the national concerns residents have in areas like housing and education. He outlined what the government has done recently, such as introducing measures to prevent a further rise in property prices and investing in education by building more schools.
Mr Teo said Dr Koh is a man who has actionable plans for the constituency.
Mr Teo said he plans to appoint Dr Koh to the PAP town council’s welfare committee to help residents with financial difficulties.
"With his capabilities and experience, Poh Koon will also be able to make a larger contribution, offering ideas and solutions for policies and programmes to serve Singaporeans better. Dr Koh is dedicated and capable and ready to serve you as a MP for many more years and I urge you to give him your support," said Mr Teo.
Dr Koh is up against Ms Lee Li Lian of the Workers’ Party, Mr Desmond Lim of the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam of the Reform Party in the by—election.
Polling Day is on Saturday, January 26.
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