WP’s New Candidates Introduced On 26 Jun Include Professor & Low Thia Khiang’s Legislative Assistant
At a press conference on Friday (26 Jun), the Workers’ Party introduced 5 new candidates that will contest the 2020 General Election (GE).
Here are the profiles of the 5 new candidates:
1. Mr Dennis Tan, 49
Mr Tan is a lawyer who runs his own shipping law firm. He will run in Hougang SMC, having worked the ground with Hougang MP Png Eng Huat and is also a town councilor. He’s also been a Non-Constituency MP.
He said Hougang is special to the WP and he’s honoured to represent the party there. He hopes Hougang voters will give him his mandate.
Responding to a question on the closely watched SMC in which the vote margin was further narrowed in the previous election, Mr Tan said WP has been in opposition for many decades, and Hougang residents know that an alternative voice in Singapore is important.
He hopes that even new voters will appreciate that it’s more important now to have an alternative voice in Parliament.
Over the last 5 years, residents can see for themselves what we’ve achieved in the town. We leave this decision on who they wanna vote for.
2. Ms Raeesah Khan, 26
Ms Raeesah Khan is the youngest candidate the WP is fielding in this election. She’s the founder of The Reyna Movement, an organisation that raises awareness on issues faced by women.
She’s passionate about workers’ rights and for people to have a live with dignity with a living wage, saying,
We have a right to accessible housing for all, from a lower cost of living to better protection for workers. It’s time to fight for such a country… This election is about us, the working people.
Responding to a question on what he can bring to the table as the youngest WP candidate, Ms Raeesah, said she’s been politically engaged since the age of 17, and she brings a different voice to the table as someone who has walked the ground and understands young people.
Asked about her father Farid Khan, who was a nominee for the 2017 Presidential Election, she acknowledged her 2 intelligent and successful parents, and said her father shares her passion for civil service and public service,
We always have a lot of public discussions on things that affect our community. It’s great to have his listening ear.
3. Mr Dylan Ng, 45
Mr Ng is married with 2 children, and has 20 years of experience in the finance industry.
He was previously fielded as a WP candidate in Marine Parade GRC in GE2015. Asked whether he would be standing in Marine Parade again, he said he will leave it to the party to decide.
Recalling the days when the People’s Action Party (PAP) was unchallenged in many wards resulting in walkovers, he said it was not healthy for political landscape in Singapore,
A political competition will bring out the best in people regardless of party. Coming forward to serve and provide more choices for Singaporeans is the right thing to do.
4. Professor Jamus Lim, 44
Prof Lim is an associate professor of economics at Essec Business School with an 8-month-old daughter.
He said school wasn’t easy for him, but what he went through is nothing compared with the pressure our students face now. He asks what this focus on outcomes has done for our graduates,
I believe we have allowed superficial success in our education system to blind us to the fact that this system isn’t working and it’s not preparing kids o take on and create good jobs for the future.
Asked about Covid-19, Prof Lim said it’s an accelerant of things that have already happened before the pandemic. Thus, it critical to examine the growth model that Singapore has relied upon so much in the past, and we’ve almost exhausted the growth model that includes using migrant workers, so he suggested we push indigenous innovative capacity.
5. Mr Ron Tan Jun Yen, 35
Mr Tan has been serving in the grassroots for the party since 2011 after the General Election, and is an in-house contract officer NUHS research office. He has a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, Perth-Western Australia.
He’s also worked as Mr Low Thia Khiang’s legislative assistant (LA), and said it’s bittersweet that he’s Mr Low’s last one.
He contested GE2015 in Nee Soon GRC and has assisted the party in ground engagement at Nee Soon GRC, Hougang SMC and Aljunied GRC.
He said that young Singaporeans should step up and be the voice for their seniors and cohorts, adding,
…their actions will shape how Singapore will be for themselves and family in the future.
Aljunied slate is fixed
Asked about the chances of the WP being re-elected in Hougang SMC and Aljunied GRC, WP chief Pritam Singh said over the last 5 years, Hougang and Aljunied residents have seen what the party has done, and it will leave the vote in their good hands.
He added that the slate for Aljunied GRC is fixed, with himself, WP chairman Sylvia Lim, Mr Faisal Manap, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam running.
Will Mr Low help out in campaigning?
On whether Mr Low Thia Khiang and the other WP members who have stepped down will help out in the campaigning, Mr Singh would not rule it out.
We’ll just have to see what happens in days that come, I don’t want to speculate the degree of engagement. I’m pretty sure all of them will support the campaign in one way or another.
WP rejuvenation depends of availability of quality candidates
Asked about the WP’s goal of one-third of the Parliament seats, he said it was contingent on the quality of candidates available. That goes also for the rejuvenation of the party — it can’t be forced, and depends on whether there are able candidates willing to serve the public.
Asked about the number of new faces it is fielding, compared with the PAP’s 26 new faces, Ms Lim said it’s only fielding a total of 21 candidates, while the PAP is contesting every constituency, so there can’t be a comparison there.
In terms of the party manifesto, Ms Lim said it will be out this weekend. On other opposition parties, she said the WP doesn’t view itself as being in competition with them.
Still mum on Sengkang GRC & Punggol West SMC
Mr Singh didn’t answer a question on who will be running in Sengkang GRC and Punggol West GRC, saying that it will be revealed in days to come.
The presser followed the reveal on Thursday (25 Jun) of 4 new candidates for GE2020, 2 of which were familiar faces and 2 of which were political newcomers.
The reveal that many were waiting for was of GE2011 golden girl Nicole Seah, who became the talk of the town again after she appeared in a WP election trailer on Tuesday (23 Jun).
On Thursday (25 Jun), it was also revealed the party stalwart Low Thia Khiang would be stepping down, along with fellow MPs Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat.
These are the constituencies WP will be contesting:
Sengkang (4 seats)
Marine Parade (5 seats)
East Coast (5 seats)
Aljunied (5 seats)
Besides Aljunied and Hougang, the WP has not revealed its candidates for the other constituencies yet.
Featured image adapted from Facebook.