Singapore GE2020: PAP slate focuses on party renewal, boosting diversity

(From left) The People's Action Party's Mr Alvin Tan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah, Mr Eric Chua, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Ms Joan Pereira on a walkabout in Bukit Merah View yesterday. Mr Tan and Mr Chu
(From left) The People's Action Party's Mr Alvin Tan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah, Mr Eric Chua, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Ms Joan Pereira on a walkabout in Bukit Merah View yesterday. Mr Tan and Mr Chua are among the new faces introduced by the party this election. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

It fields candidates from all walks of life and brings in fresh faces to continue its work

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) yesterday announced its line-up in several GRCs and SMCs ahead of Nomination Day today.

In doing so, the party confirmed the retirement of a swathe of party veterans, including former minister Yaacob Ibrahim, minister of state Sam Tan, and backbenchers Lee Bee Wah and Lily Neo.

ANG MO KIO GRC

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has helmed the PAP team in this group representation constituency (GRC) since it was formed in 1991. This time, it will include two fresh faces - Ms Ng Ling Ling, an independent consultant at the Health Ministry's Office for Healthcare Transformation, and Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, an associate director at TSMP Law Corporation.

The two new additions to the five-member team were unveiled yesterday at the PAP's Teck Ghee branch office. Ms Ng and Ms Nadia will join Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Gan Thiam Poh and Darryl David.

Ang Mo Kio GRC has 185,465 voters.

Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, Mr Ang Hin Kee and Dr Koh Poh Koon will no longer be on the team. The details on where they will stand are expected to be revealed later.

Ms Ng, 48, will succeed Dr Intan in Jalan Kayu.

Ms Nadia, 30, will take over from Mr Ang in Cheng San-Seletar.

The opposition Reform Party (RP), led by its secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, 61, has set its sights on Ang Mo Kio GRC this year.

Speaking at the virtual press conference yesterday morning, PM Lee said the PAP team has served Ang Mo Kio residents for many years, and worked with them to improve their lives and solve their problems. He said: "I ask for the voters in Ang Mo Kio GRC to vote for us and my team."

JALAN BESAR GRC

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo will helm the PAP team in Jalan Besar - the first woman minister to lead a team in a GRC.

 
 
 

Mrs Teo's team includes incumbent MPs Denise Phua and Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, as well as newcomer Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, 42.

The four-member team was introduced during a walkabout at the Beo Crescent Market and Food Centre yesterday.

Mrs Teo, previously an MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, replaces five-term MP Lily Neo, who oversaw the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward for 23 years.

Dr Wan Rizal will take over in Kolam Ayer from Professor Yaacob, who is retiring from politics.

The Workers' Party stood here against the PAP in the last election, garnering 32.25 per cent of the vote. It is not contesting in Jalan Besar this time. Instead, the PAP is expected to face off against the Peoples Voice party.

Jalan Besar GRC, with 107,936 voters, is one of the oldest names on Singapore's electoral map. It has a mix of old and young voters, and takes in large parts of Singapore's heritage districts like Chinatown and Arab Street.

JURONG GRC

The PAP's best-performing team in the 2015 polls will this year feature two new faces: Mr Shawn Huang, 37, is a director for enterprise development at Temasek International, and Mr Xie Yao Quan, 35, is the head of healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital.

Mr Xie replaces Mr Ivan Lim, 42, who withdrew his candidacy on Saturday after allegations about his past behaviour emerged online, which he feared would eclipse the core issues of this election.

The five-member team also includes Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Tan Wu Meng and Ms Rahayu Mahzam.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee will be moving out of the GRC, and is expected to be fielded in West Coast GRC.

Incumbent MP Ang Wei Neng is leaving Jurong and will be fielded elsewhere.

In 2015, Jurong GRC gave the PAP its best result for the party, winning more than 79 per cent of the vote against the Singaporeans First party.

Singapore's newest political party Red Dot United is expected to contest against the PAP in Jurong GRC, which has 131,234 voters.

NEE SOON GRC, KEBUN BARU SMC

Feisty backbencher Lee Bee Wah announced her retirement from politics yesterday, saying it is part of the renewal process of the PAP.

The three-term MP's replacement in Nee Soon GRC is new face Carrie Tan, 38, the founder of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow, Ms Lee said in a Facebook post.

Another newcomer, Mr Derrick Goh, 51, managing director and head of group audit at DBS Bank, will join incumbent MPs, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Faishal Ibrahim and Mr Louis Ng on the PAP's Nee Soon ticket.

They are vying for the support of 147,047 voters.

Mr Henry Kwek, who was elected to Parliament in 2015 as part of the Nee Soon GRC team, will contest the Kebun Baru single seat, which has 22,653 voters and was carved out from Nee Soon GRC.

Mr Kwek, who made the announcement in a Facebook post yesterday, has been the MP in charge of Kebun Baru for the last five years.

He is expected to face off against Progress Singapore Party candidate Kumaran Pillai.

TANJONG PAGAR GRC, RADIN MAS SMC

The PAP team in Tanjong Pagar GRC led by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing will include two new faces: Mr Alvin Tan, 40, LinkedIn's Asia-Pacific head of public policy and economics, and former public servant Eric Chua, 41.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah and Ms Joan Pereira complete the five-member team, which was unveiled in a Zoom video conference call yesterday.

 
 

Mr Melvin Yong leaves Tanjong Pagar GRC to go solo in nearby Radin Mas SMC, taking over from Minister of State Sam Tan, who is retiring after holding the ward for the ruling party for three terms, since 2006.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, who has served as an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC since 2011, is stepping down after two terms as a backbencher.

Mr Alvin Tan has been active in the Moulmein-Cairnhill ward for more than a year, and will take over from Mr Yong there.

Mr Chua, a former director of the SGSecure Programme Office, takes over Dr Chia's Queenstown ward.

The PAP team is set to go head-to-head with the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). They will fight for the support of the GRC's 134,642 voters.

Over at Radin Mas SMC, which has 24,980 voters, Mr Yong will likely face off against a candidate from the Reform Party.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2020, with the headline 'PAP slate focuses on party renewal, boosting diversity'. Print Edition | Subscribe