Election not about any individual: Josephine Teo
The election is not about any individual, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.
"In this particular year, it is about our lives, our jobs, our future," she said during a walkabout at the Whampoa Market yesterday with her team of PAP candidates standing in the Jalan Besar GRC.
"In fact, quite a lot of residents that I have met, have encouraged me and also said that it is a very difficult situation. Covid-19 is absolutely a curveball. No one expected it," she added.
She was responding to a question on remarks made by Peoples Voice (PV) chief Lim Tean, who said on July 3 that voters in Jalan Besar GRC should treat the election as a referendum on her.
Mr Lim said Mrs Teo was responsible for the Covid-19 outbreak in foreign worker dormitories and described her as "one of the greatest failures in the 4G leadership".
"I am not that important," she replied with laughter. "I don't think the residents feel that this is a referendum on me."
She added: "We never stop doing better and we never stop learning and never stop focusing on how we can be better prepared for the next time around. That is, I think, the attitude we bring to the table."
The PV team, led by Mr Lim, is contesting the Jalan Besar GRC against the PAP team led by Mrs Teo. Her team includes Mr Heng Chee How, 58, Ms Denise Phua, 59, and PAP new face Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, 42.
"Between Chee How and myself, having been in NTUC together. Between Denise and I, been in the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education together, and now having Rizal join us, himself an educator.
"So we want to do everything that we can, to support our residents in terms of both education as well as skills upgrading," she said.
The team will be looking into designing new approaches to help residents who may have been displaced from their jobs.
The new member, Mr Wan Rizal, said "rejuvenation is important at every level".
"We keep on making this town thriving, exciting and that is the key of our master plan," he said. He added that he wanted to provide opportunities for children to live close to their parents.
Mrs Teo also talked about the importance of having debates in Parliament.
She said: "At the end of the day, even after having expressed our views, the important thing is to move into action mode.
"Speaking up is not bad, but once we speak up about a topic, we must be able to fulfil and do it. So we are People's Action Party, not People's Speaking Party."