Upgrading should be a separate issue from the General Election

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We are concerned about the linking of public housing upgrading and estate renewal programmes to electoral support for the PAP in a constituency.

The prioritisation of upgrading programmes should be based on sound criteria and be kept a separate issue from the general election.

These are the reasons:

1) In selecting a precinct for upgrading, the age and condition of the estate and the flats should be foremost considerations. As national agencies, the HDB and the MND have the responsibility to improve the living environment of all Singaporeans.

2) Residents in the opposition wards are fellow citizens and they contribute to this country just like you and me. It is against national cohesion and irresponsible for the government to alienate them by denying them of upgrading programmes and public amenities in their constituencies. The people of Singapore certainly have not entrusted the PAP government to misuse public funds to advance its self-interests.

3) It is important not to turn our parliamentary elections into local council contests. The government should be elected based on their policies and plans for Singapore - not municipal issues. To intimidate voters with withholding upgrading programmes seems to suggest that the ruling party is trying to avoid serious debates on national policies.

The elected government of the day should work for and together with all Singaporeans transcending political factions. The provision of upgrading programmes and public amenities must not be dominated by narrow party self-interests.

We, the undersigned, request that the vote in a general election not be linked to upgrading programmes.