The battle for Potong Pasir SMC comes down to the efforts of two men, Jose Raymond of the Singapore People's Party (SPP) and Sitoh Yih Pin of the People's Action Party (PAP).
Except that it isn't, because both candidates have amassed a group of volunteers, and voters may have national rather than neighbourhood issues in mind. But still, both have worked their guts out to get to this point.
During their constituency broadcasts, each candidate had just three minutes to make their voices heard.
Sitoh chose to appeal to three generations of Potong Pasir residents, promising enrichment activities for the youths, "ample programmes" for the adults, and healthcare for seniors.
Raymond said residents could choose to make their voices heard, and build a "special town" in Potong Pasir.
Sitoh Yih Pin's E-rally
In his e-rally earlier today (July 8), Sitoh kept to the "three generations" theme with seniors, the middle-aged, and the youth.
He shared that there are many healthcare programmes put in place. One example is a collaboration with Sats CommHealth to provide 1000 flu jabs for seniors in the area. He also said that they have brought in doctors and nurses to provide cholesterol, dental, and eye checks for seniors.
For social support, he talked about the Rice, Oils, Sugar, and Essentials (ROSE) programme. The programme helps to provide essential supplies to households with needy residents.
He said they also intend to build a new nursing home in Potong Pasir that will have 438 beds.
Sitoh said that he intends to help residents whose jobs are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by organising job fairs and setting up a job centre in Potong Pasir.
On community building, he talked about the community garden. He said that the 50 plots in Potong Pasir have been very popular with residents.
Sitoh said that he hopes results produced by Potong Pasir students will be above the national average. He has reached out to Junior College students to volunteer to coach younger students in Potong Pasir. Currently, the programme is held online.
He also said that they have organised many youth programmes. In December 2019 alone, there were 24 holiday programmes organised.
Sitoh added that Potong Pasir has the Potong Pasir Motivation awards to motivate the kids living in the area.
Sitoh said that they intend to build an activity hub in Bidadari. It will be 60,000 square feet large and will be integrated with a shopping centre.
He also intends to build a new gym at a void deck in Joo Seng, hopefully twice the size of the current gym at Potong Pasir Community Centre. He added that the gym at Potong Pasir CC is, as far as he knows, the only gym in Singapore which residents can use for free.
There will also be a new polyclinic in Bidadari.
He also hopes to rebuild all bin chutes in the area within the next five years, as well as an adventure park in the area.
Sitoh added: "As some of you may recall, we finally won back in 2011 with 114 votes.
I spent the last 10 years, with all my energy, with every breath I have, to build Potong Pasir. It is very important that we continue with this momentum and build a better home for all of us in Potong Pasir."
You can see the full rally below:
Jose Raymond's rally
Sitoh's competitor in Potong Pasir, Jose Raymond of the Singapore People's Party (SPP), also held a final e-rally on July 8.
During the rally, he shared his thoughts on the role of a Member of Parliament (MP), and pledged to be more accessible as an MP, if he is elected on Friday.
He also promised to donate 50 per cent of his MP allowance to a special Potong Pasir fund, and reminded residents that upgrading projects will not be halted even if he is voted into Parliament in place of the incumbent PAP candidate.
Role of an MP
Raymond said that an MP must be able to manage a town well, and look into the needs of the residents. An MP must also be accessible, and be able to answer any queries swiftly.
Raymond emphasised that an MP must be a servant leader, and that he must be accountable to the people that voted him into office.
Promised to revolutionise the MPS system
Raymond also proposed several reforms to the Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS).
According to Raymond, individuals often had to queue for long periods to access their MPs, and that this is a model that has "run its course".
If elected, Raymond promised to "revolutionise" the way that MPS is being held, by harnessing technology and community networks.
He claimed that this will allow residents to address their concerns not just once a week during MPS, but "as soon as you have issues that need handling".
Raymond said that his website already has a portal for Potong Pasir residents to submit their concerns directly to him, and also encouraged residents to reach out to him via his personal number to resolve any problems they may have.
Raymond pledged to donate 50 per cent of his MP allowance
If elected, Raymond also promised to donate 50 per cent of his MP allowance towards a Potong Pasir neighbourhood fund, which will be administered by a special board comprised of Potong Pasir residents.
Raymond said that the fund would be used to help less-fortunate residents.
Polyclinic project will continue even if incumbent is not elected
Raymond also stated that all ongoing projects in Potong Pasir, including the new polyclinic, will continue without disruptions, even if the incumbent candidate is not elected.
"These projects are finalised, and all parties are contractually obliged to see it through," he said.
He also clarified that the upcoming polyclinic will be built "regardless of who you choose", and that it will be built by 2030, even if neither Raymond or incumbent Sitoh are in office.
You can see the video below:Top image via Sitoh Yih Pin/FB and Jose Raymond/FB.