Mothers are more than capable of juggling family and career, said the People's Action Party's (PAP) Tin Pei Ling, who is contesting the single-seat MacPherson constituency.
Hitting back at her rival Cheo Chai Chen, who had suggested that the new mother would be more focused on her month-old son than her residents, Ms Tin said: "I would like to assure Mr Cheo Chai Chen from the National Solidarity Party that mothers will not give any less of ourselves at work, compared to our colleagues."
She added: "I would also like to remind Mr Cheo that this is no joking matter." Mr Cheo had claimed he was only joking, after his attack on Ms Tin drew much flak among netizens.
Speaking at a rally in her ward yesterday, Ms Tin, who faces a three-cornered fight, also spoke of Singapore's sound education system, which her other opponent, Mr Bernard Chen of the Workers' Party, had also benefited from. She said: "Bernard has also told his story, carefully, repeatedly over these nine days".
A "late bloomer" who made good, his achievement "reassures me that our education system is indeed flexible and caters to students who progress at different speeds", she said.
MacPherson residents, who spoke before Ms Tin, lauded her for her commitment and dedication, even if it meant breaking confinement norms and hitting the ground just two weeks after she gave birth to a son, Kee Hau, on Aug 5.
Sharing her vision for Singapore, Ms Tin, 31, who became an MP in 2011 as part of the Marine Parade GRC team, said she hopes it will be the best home for all - a place for young Singaporeans to start and raise families, where children have access to the best possible education and opportunities, and where seniors can age gracefully and without worry.
To realise that vision requires not just government efforts but for all Singaporeans to work together, Ms Tin stressed.
The PAP has done much but more can be done, she acknowledged. "Yes, we can do better. We are not perfect, but who is?"
Urging voters to back the PAP, she said: "We will not promise things that we cannot do... But I believe that for as long as we continue to have the trust of the people, that our people are still willing to work with us, I believe that we can achieve this (vision)."
This article was first published on September 10, 2015.
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