WP's Sylvia Lim: Town council saga is 'unfinished'
The town council finances issue made it to the last hours, and even minutes, of the GE 2015 hustings.
In a Bedok rally attended by thousands, Workers' Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim fired another salvo at the People's Action Party (PAP).
Calling it "unfinished business", she said the PAP has yet to clarify its Punggol East candidate Charles Chong's claim that it handed the Punggol East single-member constituency (SMC) to WP with a $1 million surplus in the town council in 2013.
The WP chairman said that Defence Minister and PAP organising secretary Ng Eng Hen had said the ruling party would issue a "definitive clarification", which WP was still waiting to receive.
WP had uploaded onto its website the entire 25-page report on Punggol East's finances when it was handed over to WP after the 2013 by-election.
Said Ms Lim: "Can they tell us which page we should look at? Where can we find the $1 million surplus that Charles Chong spoke about?
"Or could it be that the PAP has tried to mislead the public and damage AHPETC (Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council) again?"
She also referred to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comment that Singapore is "liao - finished!" if WP becomes the government.
Said Ms Lim: "If the PAP has no good answers (about the claimed surplus), it is not the WP that is finished. It is the PAP that is liao - finished!"
WP's Fengshan SMC candidate Dennis Tan also spoke briefly about the issue earlier in the evening, saying: "There is the fear that the PAP has been trying to put into all of you, that if you vote the alternative in, your estate will be a mess. Your town will be messed up."
He pointed out that the lives of residents in Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East have been normal since the 2011 General Election.
"Our firm commitment is that estates will be run well," said Mr Tan.
The other WP speakers steered clear of their usual combative approach.
Some, like MacPherson SMC candidate Bernard Chen and East Coast GRC candidate Leon Perera, even praised their PAP opponents for running "clean campaigns" and for their past contributions to Singapore.
Most reiterated proposals in the WP manifesto and several reminded the crowd that their vote is secret.
WP chief Low Thia Khiang reintroduced all the WP candidates, emphasising the East Coast GRC and Fengshan SMC candidates.
Mr Low said their varied backgrounds and professional expertise would strengthen WP's presence in Parliament if they are voted in. He reiterated the party's line of the need for a stronger opposition, to be a check on PAP and to turn them back to listening to the ground.
There was last-minute drama. Close to midnight, WP issued two press releases about the AHPETC issue.
One pointed out a Lianhe Zaobao report that mentioned Mr Charles Chong's $1 million surplus claim, to respond to his claim that WP has misquoted him about it.
The second responded to a statement in a PAP flier to Punggol East residents that $22.5 million transferred to AHPETC's sinking fund was "unaccounted for".
Said WP's Hougang SMC candidate Png Eng Huat in the second release: "The statement is incorrect and a malicious attempt at discrediting the Workers' Party. The sinking fund transferred from Punggol East to AHPETC is clearly accounted for."