Workers' Party to seek merger of town councils

Days from its decisive election win in Punggol East, the Workers' Party said it would seek a merger of the single member ward with the town formed from Aljunied and Hougang to more efficiently manage the three areas.

In a statement Thursday, Aljunied-Hougang Town Council chairman Sylvia Lim and Punggol East Member of Parliament-elect Lee Li Lian said the proposed merged town council would be bigger in size, providing greater flexibility to achieve higher operational efficiencies.

"While Punggol East SMC will be able to leverage on the economies of scale of a bigger town council, likewise, the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will potentially be able to enjoy further cost savings arising from this merger," they said.

Punggol East would also be able to benefit from the pooled experience and resources of both the Aljunied group representation constituency and the Hougang single member constituency, they said.

Lee and Lim also sought to take over Punggol East's existing town council office at Blk 156A Rivervale Crescent as soon as possible to prepare for the handover of the council to the opposition party's hands from the ruling People's Action Party.

The opposition party officers said they would work with the Housing and Development Board on the issue "urgently".

Lee Li Lian of the opposition Workers’ Party won the Punggol East by-election by a comfortable margin Saturday, delivering a big blow to the ruling People’s Action Party.

The 34-year-old sales trainer garnered 16,038 votes against PAP candidate Dr Koh Poh Koon’s 12,856 to become the first female opposition member to win a single member constituency since 1965.

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