Compare what candidates have to offer, says DPM

SINGAPORE - Dr Koh Poh Koon is a man with a comprehensive plan and the ability to get things done, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.

"I hope that the residents will compare what Poh Koon has to offer, with what other candidates can offer," said Mr Teo of the People's Action Party's (PAP) candidate.

"He will work hard for the residents here and make Punggol East a better place for them."

Dr Koh, 40, a colorectal surgeon, has called his plan for residents "a fairly comprehensive one". He said it addresses "people from different groups of the demographic...as well as the youth, and even infrastructure issues".

For example, he is looking at eldercare facilities and implementing youth mentorship programmes in the ward.

Yesterday morning, Dr Koh was with Mr Teo and Mr Teo Ser Luck, the caretaker of the constituency, on a visit to a PAP Community Foundation kindergarten in Rivervale Drive.

Mr Teo Chee Hean, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, described the campaigning so far as "a keenly contested" one. He said: "Poh Koon is taking it very seriously, so is the party."

Meanwhile, Reform Party candidate and secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam said he would be a hardworking Member of Parliament who is in a much better position to reflect the views of Punggol East residents.

He was speaking to reporters yesterday morning at Rumbia LRT station, where he distributed fliers to commuters.

Mr Jeyaretnam was responding to Dr Koh's comment that the by-election is about finding an MP who will see to the residents' needs, and not about checking the PAP.

"I would be independent of the ruling party, (and) I'm better qualified as a top-class economist to question the Government on key national issues," said Mr Jeyaretnam, 53.

He added that he would also be able to raise issues that Dr Koh may not be able to raise because of "the Government's conflict of interests" since it oversees organisations such as the Housing Board and the People's Association.

myp@sph.com.sg


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PAP's Koh Poh Koon runs into Reform Party's Kenneth Jeyaretnam
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