SINGAPORE: The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) unveiled its first batch of four candidates on Sunday and Monday (Jun 29) for the upcoming General Election.
They are: Businessman Alfred Tan, marketing communications professional Min Cheong, political scientist Dr James Gomez and entrepreneur Robin Low.
The party will field a total of 11 candidates in the four-member Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) of Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee and the Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) of Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang and Yuhua.
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To date, only the party’s secretary-general, Dr Chee Soon Juan, has confirmed where he would be standing in the Jul 10 election; Dr Chee will contest in Bukit Batok, the SMC where he lost in a by-election in 2016.
Ms Cheong and Mr Tan have been walking the ground in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, while Dr Gomez has been seen in Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
Alfred Tan is a businessman and entrepreneur with years of international banking, corporate finance and business management experience in the region.
An alumnus of Anglo-Chinese School, Mr Tan is married with two adult daughters and holds a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Singapore. He also has an MBA from the University of Birmingham.
One of four children, he grew up in Toa Payoh and started volunteering with various communities since his youth. He has since served on committees and boards of various community and non-profit organisations.
In a video introducing his candidature, Mr Tan said that he believed that the benefits of a vibrant and enterprising economy must be aligned and directed to the benefit and well-being of society and the individuals in it.
“As a Member of Parliament of your constituency, I will represent your collective desire and values, whether it involves your lives and society, or whether it involves your labour and opportunities in your careers enterprises and ventures,” he said.
Marketing communications professional Min Cheong started her SDP journey in 2011 in the policy studies unit and was a counting agent for the party in the 2011 and 2015 General Election. She is now a member of the SDP's Young Democrats, Women Democrats, and Communications teams.
She grew up in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, and started volunteer work in her youth at South East Community Development Council as a Youth Mentor. She was also the global media coordinator for Road to Rio+20, the youth movement associated with the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
She holds a Diploma in Mass Communication from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and is an avid practitioner of Krav Maga, training with the local chapter of the International Federation of Krav Maga.
She is an only child.
In a video introduction on SDP’s Facebook page, Ms Cheong said that she was a firm believer in open public discourse.
She said: “It's my hope that we will nurture a real appetite and aptitude for critical thinking and meaningful debate, empathy, as well as an unwavering desire to fight the good fight for people who need support alongside causes worth championing.”
She added that she was passionate about what she called “workforce wellness”, an overarching approach to reforming how people in Singapore live and work - covering issues ranging from socioeconomic sustainability, job creation and innovation, career empowerment, organisational culture and personal well-being.
Dr James Gomez is a political scientist with more than 25 years of global experience working for international non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental organisations, public and private universities, research institutes and think-tanks.
Dr Gomez joined the SDP in 2010 and contested as an SDP candidate in the 2011 General Election in the then Sembawang GRC. He has been active in SDP’s policy unit and has contributed to its policy papers and discussion forums.
He holds a doctorate in International Relations and Politics from Monash University, a Master of Arts in Politics and Human Rights from University of Essex, and a Bachelor in Social Sciences (Hons) in Political Science from National University of Singapore.
Dr Gomez has served as associate dean, professor and head of school, programme director, head of department at various tertiary institutions including Monash University in Melbourne, Beijing Normal University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Thammasat University, Bangkok University and Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Presently, Dr Gomez is regional director of Asia Centre, a think-tank based in Thailand and Malaysia. He is married with no children.
In a video on his candidacy, he said that what affects Singaporeans most are concerns over the rising cost of living, population density, healthcare and housing affordability, poverty and inequality, and a “weak social security and pension system”.
“That's why I decided to contest this elections, with the SDP to be your voice, and to voice your concerns, and take steps to address these issues,” he said.
Robin Low is an entrepreneur who has started several businesses such as Greenyarn, Racing Genesis, Digital Media Academy and Super Brands.
He got involved in community work primarily through Relief 2.0, an NGO that he co-founded. Its mission is to promote efficient disaster response and sustainable disaster recovery.
Robin also worked with the Industrial & Services Co-Operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) in helping ex-prisoners to learn how to code and find a new start in programming jobs.
Mr Low works with various organisations in the United Nations and engages with Syrian refugees, Rohingya and other communities to enable and empower them to solve problems.
He is an alumnus of St Andrew's School, Nanyang Junior College and the National University of Singapore.
In a video on his candidacy he said he has been involved in relief efforts following major disasters.
“I worked with various refugees, and my experience has taught me that everyone has ideas and aspirations. I enjoy working with communities on solutions, because I believe that communities hold solutions for the problems we face,” he added.