Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/19/2013 20:24 | By Channel NewsAsia

Koh Poh Koon has character, conviction and commitment: PM Lee

Koh Poh Koon has character, conviction and commitment: PM Lee


Koh Poh Koon has character, conviction and commitment: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said PAP candidate Dr Koh Poh Koon can make a contribution not just in Punggol East but nationally.

He said when Dr Koh is ready and judged ready, Mr Lee will be appointing him to a suitable political office. "I think he (Dr Poh) can make a contribution not just in Punggol East but broadly, nationally. When he is ready, and I judge that he is ready, and we are ready, I will be appointing him to a suitable political office," he said.

PM Lee said this in response to reporters’ questions about whether Dr Koh was being primed for a bigger role, following a walkabout at Rivervale Plaza early Saturday morning.

Mr Lee however said Dr Koh’s first priority is to fight and win the by—election, as well as the trust of the residents and to be a good member of Parliament (MP) in Punggol East.

Calling Dr Koh a man with a sense of social responsibility, Mr Lee added he’s quite confident that he will make a good MP, as he thinks he has got the character, the conviction and the commitment. "I’m quite confident he will make a good MP, and I think he’s got the character, he’s got the conviction, and the commitment to do that."

Mr Lee also reminded voters that since the last general election, the government has implemented many initiatives to improve the lives of Singaporeans.

He called on residents to choose a candidate who will be able to serve them well not only within the community but one who can contribute to the nation as well.

Mr Lee said: "You have to vote not tactically, to calculate which way you’ll gain advantage, but really sincerely, to judge —— what do you support, what do you believe in and if you believe in that, support that.

"If you say ’I like the PAP’s programme, but it’s already there, let me vote against it, because then I get two people to look after me,’ —— if everybody does that, we have a problem."

Mr Lee also spoke about his visit to Rivervale Plaza, where upgrading works have been plagued by a series of delays since the contractor went bust.

He met stall owners and residents and highlighted visible problems such as clutter and exposed ceilings.

Mr Lee said: "It’s in an untidy state now. I can understand residents being impatient, aggravated, and irritated by the inconvenience daily."

He added that a new contractor has been hired and work will be completed by the middle of this year.

Separately, Dr Koh told reporters he wants to better identify those who need help.

Dr Koh said: "Having a certain criteria doesn’t mean it’s going to be all—encompassing. And for those people who fall through the cracks, especially those who may be not good enough to receive aid but they’re actually [in pretty bad shape as they’re stuck in—between].

"They’re not the worst but they’re not good enough. They’re in the sandwich (class). And we need to think about other things that can fill this gap, bridge this gap."

Working with youths will be another area of focus for Dr Koh.

— CNA/ck/ac

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