Veteran PAP MP Charles Chong pounced on the Workers' Party (WP) slogan, "Empower Your Future", yesterday, saying there will be no future for Singapore if voters empower the wrong people to lead the country.
The six-term PAP veteran, who is seeking to unseat WP's Ms Lee Li Lian in Punggol East SMC, said the general election is an opportunity for voters to express their views on the performance of not just the Government but also the opposition.
The outspoken PAP MP noted that the party has always held itself to high standards.
"We have been upfront about who we are and what we stand for. We have been transparent about our plans for the various constituencies," he said. "We have been honest about ourselves and, where we have fallen short of our own standards, we have taken decisive action to right any wrongs."
Mr Chong, 62, asked rhetorically whether the same standards also apply to other political parties.
"Take away the backbiting, the infighting, the sniping and the one-upmanship - you may be left with parties who are evasive, who twist words and facts, who deliberately misunderstand clear statements, who are less than honest with the people who have elected them, and some who without any shame claim credit for the hard work done by others," said Mr Chong, without naming anyone.
"After Polling Day, we also want to be able to eat orh luak (oyster omelette) or orh neng (oyster egg omelette) - whatever you call it - with residents at Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East. And the dish will taste better if we are their elected representatives," he said in a reference to recent social media postings by WP chairman Sylvia Lim. He was one of five PAP candidates who spoke before Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the PAP manifesto yesterday.
In a separate speech, PAP's candidate in Aljunied GRC, lawyer K. Muralidharan Pillai, 47, said the PAP had stayed put in the GRC to serve residents despite people saying that doing so means residents get two parties - PAP and WP - serving them for the price of one.
"Voting is not... a purchase at a supermarket. It is an exercise that affects residents - their homes and their estates. It is important to vote for the right leaders with the right values and attitudes. No one has the divine right to be employed or for our wages to go up every year," he said, linking good leaders to economic growth.
Former defence force chief Ng Chee Meng, 47, who is touted as having ministerial potential, spoke of Singapore's success factors and overcoming the challenges ahead, while lawyer Rahayu Mahzam, 35, described how volunteer work drew her into politics.
Rounding up the five speeches, Ms Tin Pei Ling, 31, who gave birth just three weeks ago, said she was concerned about the future of her son, Ng Kee Hau. It is the PAP, she said, that will make sure Singapore continues to do well for future generations like her son.
This article was first published on August 30, 2015.
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