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    Aug 31, 2015

    Go the extra mile for integrity: Dr Ng

    THE upcoming general election is one about "hope and trust", said People's Action Party (PAP) organising secretary Ng Eng Hen yesterday.

    It centres on the hope that Singapore can do even better than its progress in the last 50 years, and whether Singaporeans can trust the people they vote for to be open and honest, said Dr Ng in an interview.

    He stressed that the PAP's 89 candidates are trustworthy and that politicians should go the extra mile in keeping high standards of integrity - not just within the letter of the law, but also above and beyond.

    "Whenever we are in charge of public monies or have public trust, let's go the extra mile in reassuring Singaporeans that we're going to keep to the high standards of honesty, integrity, accountability that our founding fathers put into place," said Dr Ng.

    "We will tell our candidates, we expect you to have higher standards."

    He emphasised that his call for higher standards was not specific to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council, but applied to the whole of Singapore, whether in Parliament, the civil service or the corporate world.

    He was responding to a question on the Workers' Party-run town council, which has come under fire from the Ministry of National Development for allegedly overpaying its managing agent.

    "I'm not saying things won't go wrong, but when they do...the way you fix it is crucial. It's about sending the signal that you won't stand for corruption," said Dr Ng, a cancer surgeon, who likened corruption to cancer.

    It is important to nip any corruption in the bud before it metastasises, he said at a coffee shop at Block 280, Bishan Street 24, flanked by his running mates from Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency.

    He also said that the mood on the ground now is better than in the 2011 General Election.

    The PAP team in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC see this on their walkabouts, because residents more openly come forward to them to say they support them and are happy with the party's policies over the last four years, he told reporters.

    But he stressed that they do not take any votes for granted and will continue to work hard.

    On the opposition team which will be contesting in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC under the Singapore People's Party banner, Dr Ng said he welcomed the contest.

    "We have...a clear realisation it's going to be a tough fight. We want to win every vote," he said, adding that the PAP team has a track record but does not take past performance for granted.

    Addressing residents, he said: "You decide who can best serve you. You know us, we've been here a long time."

    Responding to the release of the Workers' Party manifesto, Dr Ng said he respects all manifestos and takes them seriously. The Government does not have all the answers and should be open to ideas, he said.

    So, from his point of view, he would take ideas from these manifestos, and study and consider them, he said. Dr Ng added: "I think we should be open to the ideas of manifestos of opposition parties. If we are not going to accept them, we should have a good reason why not."