In another press conference on Tuesday (Jun 23), Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Dr Tan Cheng Bock announced another slate of candidates.
The line-up of six consisted of:
Dr Tan Meng Wah, Academic and former fellow of IPS Kayla Low, Chartered Accountant
Dr Ang Yong Guan, Psychiatrist
Choo Shuan Ming, a Law Undergraduate
A’bas Bin Kasmani, Business Consultant and Trainer Harish Pillai, Technologist
Dr Tan Meng Wah, Academic and former fellow of IPS, whose father was a trishaw driver comes from humble beginnings. Introducing him as a new candidate, Dr Tan added that Dr Tan Meng Wah’s family lived in a rented flat growing up, and that he was the youngest of five.
Despite facing hardships growing up, in choosing him as a candidate initially, Dr Tan Cheng Bock worried that Dr Tan Meng Wah was “too academic”.
Nevertheless, he added the latter had “A wealth of working experience”. He also has a wealth of knowledge on income inequality and information on public housing, Dr Tan Cheng Bock said.
When Dr Tan Meng Wah was younger, he added that he knew very little about Singapore’s economy and discovered a shift from GDP-generation to wealth-generation. “The shift has resulted in widening income inequality, particularly over the last 20 years”, he explained.
“Wages are really low and stagnating for them, at the same time living costs and housing costs have spiked”, he added.
If allowed to continue, “I’m worried it will hit all Singaporeans and younger generations”, he noted.
Another candidate as part of the line-up was Mr Choo Shaun Ming, a law undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, who was introduced by Dr Tan Cheng Bock as “quite a good chap”.
“My time is short but I know that if I can gather all these people to stand on the same stage as me, I think there will be hope”, Dr Tan said.
“Many people are wondering how a student can be elected but my party is not a one-member party, or a one-constituency party. The party will back every member. Every where we go, we are a team”, he added.
In choosing Mr Choo, Dr Tan said: “Being young I wanted to know whether he can connect with the ground. But most importantly I know his heart is in the right place and he wants to serve Singapore. I noted the drive in him”.
“He represents the bright, young and aspirational Singaporean”, said Dr Tan.
Mr Choo said that he wanted to use what he has learned in Law school to give back to the community, and added that he does pro-bono work to give legal advice to people who need it.
The last candidate introduced by Dr Tan was Harish Pillay. Noting that Mr Pillay said that he wanted to stand for elections because “we need diversity and inclusiveness”, Dr Tan added that the latter was definitely something Parliament needed.
Mr Pillay is the Founder of Red Hat Singapore, the ASEAN headquarter of Red Hat Inc, a US company which was acquired by IBM in 2019 by a cash offer of S$30bn.
Mr Pillay said that as a second-generation Singaporean he came from a simple background.
He added that Singapore faces a real existential change and an actual threat of climate change which would be made even worse with population growth. He added that he wanted to be part of an alternate narrative to diversify ideas and to have more inclusivity of ideas.
“I felt there was a synergy”, Mr Pillay added referring to the PSP. -/TISG