Singapore—The number of women who are speculated to be contesting in the upcoming General Election (GE) may just be unprecedentedly high. And whatever way the GE goes, having more women candidates can only mean good news for Singapore.
The Government has until April 14, 2021 to hold the next GE, but it is widely believed that the election will be scheduled for next month, especially after the Elections Department’s (ELD) has released guidelines for polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And because the GE may be held that soon, new faces, especially women, from different political parties have been featured on the news over the past few months, and perhaps this election will see the greatest number of women candidates in the nation’s history.
One of the most prominent of the new faces is that of Gan Siow Huang. The former RSAF general may contest under the ruling People’s Action Party at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
Ms Gan was seen at a walkabout next to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in March, after which people began to wonder if she would be a candidate that the PAP would field in the General Elections. Previously, she had also been spotted greeting residents alongside MP Chee Hong Tat in a Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC dinner.
Last week, straitstimes.com reported that Ms Gan has undertaken the deputy chief executive position at the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute.
Another prominent face is that of Raeesah Khan, who was featured in a Facebook post in April by Lee Li Lian, the Workers’ Party (WP) deputy treasurer. It’s possible that Ms Khan will 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. Farid Khan had announced his intention to contest in 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.
Meanwhile, Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has Gigene Wong as well as lawyer Wendy Low. PSP wrote last week that Ms Wong “came back from China just to help Singaporeans through PSP.”
Ms Low was part of PSP’s first webinar last month. She was one of the legal minds that met with Dr Tan Cheng Bock in January, as the party was “in the process of building legal skills and capacity to help us navigate the headwinds from Singapore’, shall we say, progressive and innovative political regulatory regime,” wrote PSP’s Khush Chopra at that time.
Former PSP stalwart Michelle Lee has branched off, however, to start a political party of her own. With Ravi Philemon, who also left the PSP of late, Ms Lee announced the launch of a new society named Red Dot United (RDU) on May 29. RDU is composed of “like-minded individuals” from the ages of 25 to 55. The group’s goal is “to build a political-social platform and not just another political party.” -/TISG