PAP candidate Koh Poh Koon: I don't need sympathy votes

The People's Action Party's candidate for the Punggol East by-election, Dr Koh Poh Koon, says the message for his campaign is simple: “This is me. I am me.”
 
During a walkabout at Rivervale Plaza on Sunday morning, he told reporters slogans are not as important as the ability to connect with residents.
 
“Choose me because you can connect with me. Choose me because you think I can do something good for you…You can say all sorts of slogans you want, but if residents can’t connect with you and if they don’t trust you, no slogan is going to change their minds,” said Dr Koh.

The colorectal surgeon also rubbished criticism by some that he was trying to milk the story of his humble beginnings at a recent press conference where he was officially introduced as the PAP candidate.
 
He said it was inevitable that people will think this way but added that it was important for him to share his past so that residents can make an informed choice.
 
“It’s not about garnering sympathy votes. If residents feel that I am not the best person, please do not give me any sympathy votes. I do not need any sympathy. This is me. I can’t change my past,” said the 40-year-old.

Dr Koh Poh Koon meets residents at Rivervale Plaza. (Yahoo! photo/Satish Cheney)Dr Koh Poh Koon meets residents at Rivervale Plaza. (Yahoo! photo/Satish Cheney)
Talking to the breakfast crowd and shaking hands with residents, Dr Koh told reporters that residents have so far given him a warm reception and have also brought up some issues as well.

Bread and butter issues have been raised, while some have also asked for more stools along walkways for the elderly to rest as well as better infrastructure for cyclists in the area.
 
Rivervale Plaza's delayed upgrading work was also a major concern and Dr Koh assured residents works should be completed by the middle of the year. However, he said renovation work may be stopped during the lead-up to the Lunar New Year to allow shopkeepers to sell their wares.
 
Dr Koh has said previously that he will continue to serve the residents in the ward even if he loses the by-election. This had prompted some to suggest that residents might be better off voting for an opposition candidate and getting a two-for-one deal.
 
“You must choose to vote for the person who can do the work for you,” said Dr Koh.

“It’s a fallacy to believe that you can have the best of both worlds – choose a person to make a statement, but hope that the other person who is voted out is going to have all the resources, all the authority to get the work done for you.”

Multi-cornered fight?

When asked if he would receive the support of PAP heavyweights during his walkabouts in the coming days ahead of , Dr Koh said, "As you can see today, I’m the only one walking around. I feel comfortable because my aim has always been to let people to know me. And you don’t need ten people walking behind to let people to know you, because it doesn’t help.”

Dr Koh also refused to be drawn into the possibility of a with over 31,000 votes.

The Singapore Democratic Party recently proposed sending a, a move which has seen little support.
 
While he called the proposal an “interesting concept”, Dr Koh said, "It’s something that the opposition has to decide if that is the best way to serve their cause.”

Related Articles:

PAP names surgeon as Punggol East candidate
Punggol East by-election called
Multi-cornered by-election battle favours PAP: analysts
Singapore ruling party in poll test amid growing discontent
SDP declares interest in contesting at Punggol-East SMC


  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said.

Featured Blogs

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading → …

  • Alex Lloyd
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does. …

  • Alex Lloyd
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world. …

  • Alex Lloyd
    Watch a man drive his three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway

    Some things in life are hard to explain, like why a dentist insists on asking you questions when you clearly can't respond. Or why we call pants "a pair" even though it's just one. Or how about this puzzler: Why a person would drive their Mustang along a Texas highway despite it missing a wheel? Life is full of little mysteries, I guess. …