SINGAPORE - "Hougang people's hearts cannot simply be bought over with money," said Worker's Party (WP) candidate Png Eng Huat in Hokkien.
He was speaking at his first rally speech for the Hougang by-election as he emphasized why Hougang needs to remain a beacon of democracy.
He said: "Anson did not survive. With a stroke of a pen, over 18,000 Singaporeans were removed from Anson in 1988 and the constituency disappeared.
"Look at what happened to Eunos and Cheng San GRCs. When WP almost won there in 1988 and 1997, they also disappeared."
He hinted that the same thing might happen to Potong Pasir constituency."Come next General Election, the same thing may befall on the residents of Potong Pasir," said Png.
He explained that "the PAP has mastered the art of moving house for you at every election. Because of the way electoral boundaries are redrawn, you can actually move house from East Coast to Marine Parade to Aljunied, and even Ang Mo Kio without moving a single piece of your furniture anywhere."
But he assured the residents that Hougang will not share the same fate. He said: "While this government has made Anson disappear and retaken Potong Pasir, it will never retake Hougang."
The 50-year-old chairman of the Hougang constituency committee also reminded Hougang residents how they have been unfairly treated at the hands of the ruling government.
"Our pledge says it so beautifully. We are to build a democratic society based on justice and equality, and nothing less.
"But where is the justice for Hougang residents when the estate is always being pushed to the end of the queue for each upgrading exercise despite being more deserving than many other PAP wards.
"Where is the equality for Hougang residents when you have dutifully paid over 20 years of taxes and received almost zero state-funded estate renewal today?
"The way the PAP treats Hougang for the past 20 years reveals only one thing - it does not know anything about building an inclusive society."
Png applauded the residents of Hougang for their refusal to be 'bullied', for standing their ground and voting for the WP at every general election since 1991 and for patiently waiting for their lift upgrading despite apparently being last in the queue for upgrading works.
Claiming to reiterate the stand of WP supporters, he said: "Hougang is not for sale."