DPM Teo Chee Hean: Can the opposition deliver?

DPM Teo Chee Hean says PAP's manifesto tackles practical issues. (Yahoo! photo/Henry Lim)
DPM Teo Chee Hean says PAP's manifesto tackles practical issues. (Yahoo! photo/Henry Lim)

The People's Action Party (PAP) has shown it can deliver on its promises, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Tuesday, as he questioned whether the opposition can do the same.

"If you look at the substance of the manifesto of the PAP, it's got a good track record. We've actually delivered on our promises over several decades," he said. "We think carefully before we put something down because we know we have to deliver on it."

"I don't think it's the same for the manifesto of the opposition parties," he stated.

DPM Teo, who is also the Minister for Defence, was speaking to the media at the sidelines of an NTUC FairPrice event on Tuesday morning.

Hours later, Parliament was dissolved and the Polling Day was set for 7 May.

Responding to criticism that the PAP manifesto lacks in substance, DPM Teo said with a laugh, "You mean compared to the opposition's? Which manifesto have you been reading?"

"They put down a long laundry list of things, which they imagine can be done. But the reality is not the same," he said.

"And even if you put down the same item, the PAP has shown it can deliver (on) implementation, execution. They put down the same item, the question is, can the other guy deliver?"

He said the PAP manifesto is "welcomed" because it deals with practical issues that Singaporeans are concerned with in everyday life.

"The focus for many Singaporeans is what is the situation in jobs, employment, cost of living, how is the government helping them with that and so on," he added.

On corporate lawyer Chen Show Mao, touted as the Workers' Party's star catch but recently queried by the PAP on why he chose to enter politics now after spending some 40 years overseas, DPM Teo said a "serious party" should explain its selection process and why a candidate is able to represent Singaporeans well.

To voters, DPM Teo said, "(An election is) not just some kind of carnival or action movie and you go there to enjoy just for that period... you have to think of the consequences and the longer-term issues."

Minister in the Prime Minster's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hua said, "To us, the GE is really the moment to get the mandate again from the people."

Citing the long-term programmes, such as lift upgrading, Minister Lim said, "We would love very much to continue doing that with the residents."

To celebrate its crossing 100 stores on Tuesday, the FairPrice donated S$10 million to the Fairprice Foundation to be used to help the needy with their daily needs, support nation building and community bonding events, as well as advancing workers' welfare.

This is the largest single amount to be given in one year to the foundation since it was set up in 2008.

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