Singapore

WP aims to set up new town council for Sengkang GRC: Pritam

The Workers' Party (WP) is looking to set up a new town council for Sengkang GRC, instead of merging it with the existing Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.

"We believe Sengkang has the economies of scale for it to be a standalone town council," said WP chief Pritam Singh at a virtual press conference yesterday. "That's our approach and preference going forward, subject to further meetings with the existing managing agents."

The WP won the new Sengkang GRC at last Friday's polls, garnering 52.13 per cent of the vote.

In 2011, the town councils for Aljunied GRC and Hougang were merged following the general election, when the WP first wrested Aljunied GRC from the People's Action Party.

When WP won the Punggol East by-election in 2013, it further expanded the town council to become the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

But there were teething issues in the 2011 handover which had a lasting impact - a lawsuit by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council against its town councillors is now still on appeal after the Court found WP MPs liable for damages suffered by the town council.

Asked if the party was anticipating handover issues in Sengkang, such as if the current managing agent pulls out, Mr Singh said: "I don't want to prejudge the situation, but what I would and can say is we haven't met the existing managing agents yet, so I think we want to go into discussions in good faith... and we'll take it from there."

The new elected MPs for Sengkang are lawyer He Ting Ru, 37; economics professor Jamus Lim, 44, social enterprise founder Raeesah Khan, 26, and equity research analyst Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33.

Team leader He thanked residents for having faith in the WP, and gave an update on how the new MPs could be reached.

Acknowledging that Meet-The-People sessions cannot be held due to the Covid-19 situation, she said: "If any residents have any questions or need help, please e-mail us at sengkang@wp.sg as one of us will get in touch with you about your problems or your questions."

Yesterday, the WP's Sengkang team was spotted on a walkabout at Rivervale Plaza, where they greeted residents.

Prof Lim was taking notes on town council matters on an iPad as he chatted with residents. He cited the example of a complaint about mosquitoes, adding: "We want to be immediately responsive to all these considerations.

" As Pritam suggested, that is our first order of priority - to focus on making sure that this transition occurs in as smooth a fashion as possible."

WP chair and Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim said yesterday that there would be a reorganisation of the MPs helming wards in the constituency, which the WP retained with almost 60 per cent of the vote.

The team includes Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal Manap. Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam have replaced party stalwarts Low Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao, who have stepped down.

Mr Giam will take over Mr Low's former ward at Bedok Reservoir-Punggol, while Ms Lim will now helm Paya Lebar, instead of Serangoon.

Mr Perera will take over the Serangoon ward, said Ms Lim.

GENERAL ELECTION 2020