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Aljunied GRC: The battle for 143,148 votes

PAP leaders respond robustly to the WP challenge in Aljunied GRC. -AsiaOne

Sun, May 01, 2011

SINGAPORE - PAP leaders up the ante on Aljunied GRC, with MM Lee challenging WP to show its "Shadow Cabinet" and SM Goh warning S'poreans that a PAP loss there will dent quality of government. And the leader of the PAP team, Foreign Minister George Yeo, wants WP to show plans for Aljunied GRC.

George Yeo to WP: Show plans for Aljunied GRC

Leader of the People's Action Party's (PAP) Ajunied GRC team George Yeo on Saturday night challenged the Workers' Party (WP) to reveal its plans for the residents of Aljunied GRC. Mr Yeo is also the Foreign Minister.

Speaking in his first rally and during a walkabout earlier in the day, he said WP chief Low Thia Khiang's call on voters to first elect them and then they would reveal their plans for the GRC is like 'asking for a blank cheque'.

Mr Yeo said he was worried that the WP team for Aljunied did not want to talk about their local plans, choosing instead to ask voters to elect them for a First World Parliament.

Aljunied GRC is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested areas. The PAP team includes two Cabinet Ministers. Besides Mr Yeo, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua is the other Minister in the team. Also in the team is newcomer Ong Ye Kung, widely tipped as a potential office holder.

The other two members making up the five-member team are Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Madam Cynthia Phua. Mr Zainul is Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and PM Lee has indicated that Mr Zainul can be the next Speaker of Parliament if he wins in the coming election.

At the PAP rally on Saturday night at Serangoon Stadium, Mr Yeo said some voters were so torn over the "emotional dilemma" created by the WP, they were going to spoil their votes on Polling Day. He urged voters not to do so as the outcome of the election would affect their lives for the next five years.

MM Lee to WP: Show your "Shadow Cabinet"

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew asked the Workers' Party to line-up its "Shadow Cabinet" and name those who could fill ministerial posts.

Speaking to reporters at the PAP Radin Mas branch on Saturday, he said: "You must have a Shadow Cabinet. If you watch the British Parliament, there's always a Shadow Cabinet on the opposition benches."

MM Lee met with party activists and PAP candidate Sam Tan. Mr Tan is contesting the single-seat ward against National Solidarity Party's (NSP) Yip Yew Weng.

MM Lee leads the Tanjong Pagar GRC team. The five-member team was returned unopposed on Nomination Day on April 27.

MM Lee: WP wants to take over the driving seat

MM Lee said WP chief Low Thia Khiang is not just eyeing the five-member Aljunied GRC.

Mr Low leads an WP team made up of its top members to contest Aljunied GRC. They are chairperson Sylvia Lim, Rhodes scholar and corporate lawyer Chen Show Mao, counsellor Muhammad Faisal Abdul Manan and post graduate law student Pritam Singh.

MM Lee said: "Let's not pretend that it's just to form an opposition and to keep the government on its toes. It is to form the opposition and to trip the government up. You've seen Low Thia Khiang in action.'

Loss of Aljunied team will dent quality of Govt: SM Goh

The quality of Singapore's government will take a hit if Aljunied GRC residents vote out the PAP team, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong warned during the PAP Marine Parade GRC rally at Paya Lebar on Saturday night.

Mr Goh said the country would lose not only a foreign minister who has been able to foster good relations with neighbouring countries, but also Singapore's first woman minister, Mrs Lim Hwee Hwa, and a potential Speaker of Parliament, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

The five-member PAP team contesting Aljunied GRC against an WP team led by party chief Low Thia Khiang comprises Foreign Minister George Yeo, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hwa, Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Madam Cynthia Phua and new face Ong Ye Kung, who is widely tipped as a potential office holder.

At the rally, he also called the WP "koyok man", selling pills that did not work, as he dismissed the WP call for a First World Parliament.

SM Goh: Tan Jee Say did not make the cut

On the subject of his former principal private secretary (PPS) Tan Jee Say, Mr Goh revealed at the rally that Mr Tan left the civil service to join the private sector as Mr Goh did not think he could make it as a permanent secretary.

Mr Tan went to Oxford University on an Overseas Merit Scholarship, and served as PPS to then Deputy Prime Minister Goh from 1985 to 1990.

He left the Administrative Service in 1990 to join investment bank Morgan Grenfell Asia, before moving into fund management.

He is now a private investor.

Mr Tan is contesting in the four-member Holland-Bukit Timah GRC as a Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate. The PAP team there is led by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

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