SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party’s (WP) secretary—general Mr Low Thia Khiang has said that the results of the Punggol East by—election show that Singaporeans expect the government to work harder for them.
At a news conference on early Sunday morning held after results were announced, MP—elect Ms Lee Li Lian also spelled out her priorities for the constituency.
Flanked by party leaders, she thanked residents and pledged to stand up for them in Parliament as well as manage Punggol East diligently.
The 34—year—old won 16,038 or 54.52 per cent of the valid votes — up from the 41 per cent she garnered in the last election.
She said: "My most immediate task is to build up the town council, as we are all aware the current Punggol East Town council is actually under the Pasir Ris—Punggol Town Council, so that will be the most immediate thing that I need to do, after which I will also need to build up a group of volunteers to help lead grassroots as well as community events at Punggol East."
With the victory, she becomes the first woman opposition party candidate to have won a single member constituency since 1965. History too, for the Workers’ Party, as it captures another constituency from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
Mr Low said: "The results of the by—election show that Punggol East voters as well as Singaporeans still expect the government to work harder. Although many policies have been reviewed... the results show that (its) effect has not really trickled down to the ground and people still feel the pressure of high cost of living," he said.
"So I would expect the government to work harder on that and the Workers’ Party would assist whenever we can," he added.
Party leaders are also well aware of the expectations that come with the victory.
Chairman of WP Ms Sylvia Lim said: "This is also an important episode for Singaporeans to take note of, the value of political competition in getting the government to sit up and take notice.
"Despite this victory, the Workers’ Party is still a small party with much to do and improve upon. The Workers’ Party will continue to serve residents in Hougang SMC and Aljunied GRC and now the residents of Punggol East SMC on the ground and in Parliament."
Party leaders added that the victory is as much a vote against the ruling People’s Action Party as it is a vote for the Workers’ Party.
Work will start almost immediately for Ms Lee, with her first Meet—the—People session slated for the 4 February at Block 135 Rivervale Street.
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