GE: Opposition welcome, say Pasir Ris-Punggol MPs

By Alvina Soh | Posted: 05 March 2011 1448 hrs

SINGAPORE: Two MPs of Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC) have welcomed the possibility of a contest in their wards for the General Election.

Mr Michael Palmer and Mr Charles Chong said they believe the presence of the opposition would inject some excitement.

On the sidelines of a community event, Mr Michael Palmer and Mr Charles Chong were asked about the possibility that the Singapore Justice Party could be fielding Mr Desmond Lim.

Mr Lim has been reported to be interested in the newly-created single-member ward of Punggol East, which is currently part of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Mr Chong said such a move would be good for residents.

"We welcome him contesting in the GRC. That will give our residents all the opportunities to vote," Mr Chong said.

"Some of the residents in the constituencies had never had a contest. They feel a bit deprived."

Meanwhile, Mr Palmer said he believes the PAP team would benefit from a contest.

"General election can be very dull if you're not contested in a General Election -- and various things happen when you are actually contested," Mr Palmer said.

"You get a sense of the ground, you get a sense of the support you have; whether the work that you have been doing has counted."

Mr Palmer said while he does not underestimate the opponent, he remains quietly confident and would continue to work hard to win.

The MPs made the comments on Saturday after the launch of the Lorong Halus Wetland and riverfront promenade by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Commenting on the wetland, Mr Teo said: "We always think Singapore is a very small island with not much recreational space, so I'm really delighted that we have this wonderful new wetland and a waterside walkway".

National water agency PUB said the wetland, formerly a landfill, will provide opportunities for recreation, research and education.

The project is part of its Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme.

Residents in the north east can also look forward to new facilities for sports and recreation, and even a golf driving range.

Mr Teo said residents can look forward to new facilities, such as Sengkang general hospital and polyclinic.

"It will serve all our residents in this area. And in the future, we'll also look forward to the sports complex and the SAFRA club house coming up as the population builds up," Mr Teo said.

Mr Teo was also asked if the two army generals -- Chan Chun Sing and Tan Chuan-Jin -- who are leaving the Singapore Armed Forces are likely to become PAP candidates.

His reply: "No comment".

-CNA/wk

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