Will Dr Koh be more than just an MP if elected?

·Satish Cheney

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean hinted that PAP's Dr Koh Poh Koon could have a bright future if he is elected as an Member of Parliament.

Teo, who was one of the speakers at Koh’s maiden rally on Friday evening, said the PAP candidate was a dedicated man who can translate concerns and aspirations into workable programmes that can help make lives better, Teo said Koh can offer a "larger contribution" to Singapore.

[SEE SLIDESHOW OF PAP RALLY]

“With his capabilities and experience, Poh Koon will also be able to make a larger contribution offering ideas, policies and programmes to serve Singaporeans better,” Teo said.

When asked what areas he might be interested in when it comes to wider-level policy making for the nation, Koh told reporters at the end of the rally that he would want to be involved with issues close to his heart.

“I will be looking at things… like with women and children, their working lives and the issues of education,” said the married 40-year-old colorectal surgeon.

Teo, an MP at Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said he intends to appoint Koh to the town council’s welfare committee to look at ways to better help residents with financial difficulty.

He hopes that with Koh at Punggol East, they can work together as one big Pasir Ris- Punggol family and that this will offer continuity to ensure everyone is looked after well.

“As a PAP MP, he will be able to make your lives better. Give him your support, so he can work with you for many years to come,” said Teo, who was among a group of party heavyweights who spoke during the rally.

'PAP is listening'

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat also spoke at the rally and said that Koh has already been talking to him about the need to improve childcare services in the area. Heng added that the party is working hard to make it easier for parents and make childcare services more affordable.

The party is listening to the people and every resident of Punggol East is important to them, said another PAP colleague, Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah.

“Since the general election, you can see we have been making many moves on housing, working on transport and that’s because, as a party we listen, we do. We have not misread and we have not forgotten the message that the electorate has given,” she said.

The PAP had its lowest share of votes since independence in the last general election in 2011. It also lost for the first time a group representation constituency (Aljunied) to an opposition party.

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