PAP's Koh starts voucher scheme

PAP's Koh starts voucher scheme

SINGAPORE - Almost a year after losing the Punggol East by-election, the People's Action Party's (PAP) Dr Koh Poh Koon is launching a voucher programme for needy residents in the constituency.

They can use the vouchers to buy daily necessities, meals, groceries and even get a haircut at 12 shops and outlets in Rivervale Plaza, including foodcourt Koufu, from Dec 29.

Dr Koh, 41, told The Straits Times on Monday: "No matter the outcome of the election, people who need help should continue to receive help... I want to do something meaningful for them."

The colorectal surgeon, who lost to the Workers' Party's Ms Lee Li Lian in the January polls, said that initially, he hopes to give the vouchers to 142 needy families already receiving a monthly aid package of food such as rice, instant noodles and canned goods.

He tried out the idea of vouchers in June at a new rental block, giving them to 25 needy families for their purchases at a provision shop and a coffee shop. It was well-received, prompting him to extend it to others in the constituency.

Dr Koh said he has also helped to expand the capacity of a PAP Community Foundation centre for pre-schoolers. Approval has been given to extend the centre to the void deck of a neighbouring block. No date has been fixed for its opening.

In September, he resumed his fortnightly visits to homes in HDB blocks.

Meanwhile, the PAP's Mr Desmond Choo, 35, who lost twice at the polls in Hougang, continues to hold weekly coffee sessions with residents there, juggling it with his new job at the company of billionaire investor Peter Lim.

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