Singapore

PAP team unveils plan for East Coast

Voters in East Coast learnt the details of the much-talked-about East Coast plan last night, when Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered his final online rally before the polls.

The plan involves the creation of a new East Coast Conversation platform for residents to discuss the things that matter to them and work together to put their ideas into action, he said.

It is modelled after the Our Singapore Conversation series, which was started in 2012 to better understand what Singaporeans hope for.

"I hope that we will have an East Coast Conversation for us to talk about... the issues that people care about most," Mr Heng said, adding that many residents have shared their passions with him during his walkabouts in the area.

"And beyond conversation, to action," he said.

"How do we take action, each of us, and together how do we make a difference?"

PAP new face Tan Kiat How, the former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, will be put in charge of the scheme.

All five members of the People's Action Party's East Coast team were present at the online rally yesterday: Mr Heng, Mr Tan, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, Ms Jessica Tan and Ms Cheryl Chan.

Another element of the East Coast plan involves setting up a Silver Blueprint for seniors in the constituency. This aims to address their physical, social, emotional and digital needs.

SG DIGITAL OFFICE

Ensuring that seniors have digital skills is part of making sure they age well, Mr Tan said. The SG Digital Office has a branch in Bedok and aims to reach out to 10,000 East Coast seniors in the coming year.

"It could be very simple things, (such as) learning how to use WhatsApp and YouTube."

Mr Heng also noted equipping workers of all ages with new skills is important to help the country stay competitive. Machines are getting smarter, but Singaporeans should not see this as something to fear.

"We have a smaller and smaller population, a smaller workforce," Mr Heng said.

"Therefore, a man-and-machine combination brings out the best in everyone. That will allow us to remain competitive, and that will allow our people to have even better jobs for the future."

In a Facebook post last night, former East Coast anchor minister Lim Swee Say also shared his thoughts on the election.

Mr Lim is in the US with his wife, who is receiving medical treatment.

The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, and Singapore cannot lose its focus, he noted.

It will also be tougher than before to grow the economy and create jobs.

Against this backdrop, Singapore is voting for a political party to form the next government, which will lead the country for the next five years, Mr Lim said.

"Some say a strong mandate may give the next government too much space and it can do anything it likes. I disagree because there is no escape from public scrutiny and parliamentary accountability," he added.

"I would counter that a strong mandate is exactly what our country needs now, as we strive for a better future in a more challenging world."

GENERAL ELECTION 2020