The Government will continue to make policies that benefit all Singaporeans, regardless of how they voted, said Minister for Manpower and Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, during a visit to opposition-held Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
Reassuring residents of Serangoon ward there that they have not been forgotten by the People’s Action Party (PAP), Mr Tan told them at the start of a dialogue: “Let’s put it this way, it’s a democracy … you decide what you want to choose, for better or worse. I will tell you that we will endeavour to do our best, whatever the outcome.
“All of you remain Singaporeans. You don’t vote for us but we are here to still continue to provide policies that cut across every division,” he added.
But he pointed out that while policies are crafted to benefit Singaporeans, they need to be balanced with societal needs and considerations for the future. “On our part as the Government, we do the best we can,” he said.
Giving little away on the ruling party’s strategy to regain the constituency from the Workers’ Party at the next General Election, which must be held by January 2017, Mr Tan told reporters yesterday: “Strategy-wise, I guess we have to work that out. But our responsibilities as a Government don’t change.”
The Workers’ Party, led by its chief Low Thia Khiang, fielded a team including chairman Sylvia Lim and star catch Chen Show Mao, to wrest the constituency from the PAP at the 2011 polls, representing the first time an opposition party has won a GRC.
Asked by reporters for his take on ground sentiment after a community dialogue at The Serangoon Community Club, Mr Tan said the reception, by and large, has been warm.
He added that he has also visited other areas in Aljunied in recent years to “touch base with the people here”.
“Yes, it’s organised but people are there, and a lot of people. They come forward, they share their views, whether in a dialogue or during the course of the visit,” he said.
Municipal issues have been raised by residents but they were “nothing peculiar” and something he also encounters in his ward in Marine Parade GRC.
During his six-hour ministerial community visit to Serangoon division, Mr Tan mingled with residents at coffee shops, Tavistock Avenue Park and other venues. He was hosted Mr David Tay, adviser to the Serangoon Grassroots Organisations and accompanied by the visit’s organising chairman Chan Hui Yuh and other grassroots leaders.