Singapore—On June 24, in a virtual press conference from its headquarters in New Upper Changi Road, the ruling People’s Action Party introduced four more new potential candidates for the upcoming General Election (GE), now scheduled for July 10.
Earlier this morning, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat already introduced four other PAP would-be candidates: Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Edward Chia Bing Hui, Desmond Tan Kok Ming, and Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan.
For its second set of new faces for the upcoming elections, it was Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli’s turn to do the honours. Mr Masagos presented Hany Soh Hui Bin, age 33; Don Wee Boon Hong, age 43; Mohd Fahmi Aliman, age 48; and Yip Hon Weng, age 43.
In talking about Ms Soh and Mr Wee, the Minister emphasised how the two potential candidates veered from the traditional route to success.
Ms Soh is a director at MSC Law Corporation. She had studied at Bendemeer Secondary School, and then later took up law and management from a polytechnic. After this, she worked as a paralegal for some time in order to save the money she needed to obtain her law degree abroad.
Since 2011, she has been doing volunteer work with grassroots members in Bukit Panjang, and established the first Community Legal Clinic in a Residents’ Committee centre in Singapore in 2014.
Channel NewsAsia quotes her as saying, “What I envision, and I really hope that my residents will be able to give me the mandate, that I will be able to be their voice in Parliament, to work with them during difficult times, and share their happiness with them, celebrate with them during their times of happiness.”
As for Mr Wee, a senior vice president at United Overseas Bank, he did not let a lack of finances stop him from higher education. After graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, he worked and studied part-time until he graduated with a degree in accounting. He is now the chairman of the West Coast Citizens Consultative Committee Community Development Welfare Fund and West Coast Peak Neighbourhood Committee.
Both Mr Wee and Ms Soh have been grassroots leaders for many years now.
Mr Masagos said about the candidates, “Don, to me, like Hany, epitomises what I call SkillsFuture now – the journey they’ve gone through in their school life does not define where they are and where they can be.”
Mohd Fahmi Aliman, another of PAP’s fresh faces for this GE, is now with the NTUC as an Administration and Research Unit director. He is a former army colonel, who, last March, stepped down as deputy chief executive of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
He said, “I want to create awareness for low-wage workers and essential services workers, for them to continue training, upskill themselves, learn skills and make a better living.”
The eighth candidate introduced by PAP on June 24, Yip Hon Weng, is the former group chief of the Silver Generation Office under the Agency for Integrated Care. In 2011, Mr Yip was a member of the team that set up the Ageing Policy Office in the Ministry of Health. A father of five children from the ages of 2 to 10, he said at the presser, “Entering politics will come at a cost to my personal life, but I believe this is the best opportunity to contribute and make Singapore into a place where my children and one day their children can be proud of.”
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