Singapore—With talk of the next General Election (GE) abounding, new faces from the ruling and opposition parties are also making an appearance.
Some days ago TISG featured Janus Lim, the economist expected to contest in Workers’ Party (WP) Sengkang slate. Today we take a closer look at Raeesah Khan, who was featured in a recent Facebook post by Lee Li Lian, the party’s deputy treasurer. It’s possible that Ms Khan will also be included in WP’s Sengkang slate.
We first wrote about Ms Khan in January, when the WP was said to be wooing the daughter of ex-presidential aspirant Farid Khan, based on information from an anonymous insider who spoke to Redwire Times.
Ms Khan, the 26-year-old freelance digital marketing consultant and social activist, is the founder of the Reyna Movement, a non-profit organisation she set up to empower women through community engagement and up-skilling programmes as well as to support refugees.
Socially active since the age of 17, Ms Khan was featured as one of the “Changemakers” in Cleo magazine in 2019.
Ms Khan was seen with WP members back in January wearing blue, the party’s colour, handing out party leaflets at a walkabout in the Punggol region, giving rise to speculation that she may contest in the upcoming GE.
WP secretary-general Pritam Singh said at a Member’ Forum earlier this year, “For the upcoming general elections, we will field candidates that the public can envision to become competent MPs and Parliamentary backbenchers and who will manage their Town Councils well. The focus will be on quality candidates from a range of backgrounds and life experiences. It is my firm belief that they will do Singapore and our people proud, in Parliament and as elected Town Councillors.”
Ms Khan, as well as Mr Lim, were featured in the March 30 post of Lee Li Lian, showing that the Workers’ Party is continuing some on-ground activities such as the distribution of flyers, although it had announced on March 26 on its Facebook page and website that it was temporarily putting a stop to its house visits due to increased social distancing measures that have been put in place by the Government in a bid to prevent a further spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The young social activist is a mother of one child and credits her parents as having inspired her to help others out. She said, “My mother never made helping other people seem like it was a big deal. When I had my birthday celebrations at the orphanage, it wouldn’t be about me—it’d be about having a celebration with other children.
So I was always aware of the fact that I’ve lived a very privileged life. I lived in a safe neighbourhood, I had a good education and I was given opportunities. There wasn’t a time when I felt like I didn’t have enough.”
Her father had announced his intention to contest the 2017 Presidential Election which was reserved for Malay candidates. However, his application, along with that of Salleh Marican, was rejected by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC), citing that they did not meet the updated eligibility criteria to contest the election.
For the presidential election that year, candidates from the private sector had to lead a company which had S$500 million in shareholders’ equity for the individual’s most recent 3-year period of service.
This disqualified Mr Khan. He also lost around S$200,000 in campaign marketing expenses after his failed bid. —/TISG