SINGAPORE: The People's Action Party (PAP) will face a team from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) in Chua Chu Kang GRC, after candidates successfully filed their nomination papers on Tuesday (Jun 30).
The four-member PAP team comprises Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, 61, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower Low Yen Ling, 45, and new faces Don Wee Boon Hong, 43, a senior vice-president at UOB, and lawyer Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, 39.
Mr Gan thanked residents for their support over the years. “We have been building not just a town, but a community, a family,” he said, asking for further support to build Chua Chu Kang into a vibrant, sustainable town.
Mr Zhulkarnain noted that he grew up in the area, while Ms Low said the team had "new plans and hopes for Chua Chu Kang GRC”.
The PSP team is made up of Francis Yuen, 70, a former Republic of Singapore Air Force lieutenant colonel and former chief executive of Hong Leong Asia; Dr Tan Meng Wah, 57, a former Institute of Policy Studies research fellow; law undergraduate Choo Shaun Ming, 23; and fire safety engineer Abdul Rahman Mohamad, 67.
In his speech, Mr Yuen said he would be honoured to serve the people and to be a strong voice in Parliament. “We want changes in Singapore, because there are too many things going wrong,” he said.
Mr Choo said he hopes to represent “the voice of the young people”.
A VERY UNUSUAL ELECTION: MINISTER GAN
Speaking to reporters after being confirmed as a candidate, Mr Gan said this is "a very important" and "very unusual election".
"It's conducted in the midst of COVID-19. We know that COVID-19 will take some time. It’s not going to be resolved so soon," he said.
"So it is important for us to have a strong mandate, so that we can unite the people in our fight against COVID-19."
Mr Gan added that the economy will need time to recover even beyond COVID-19, saying the road to recovery is "a long one".
"I think this is a landmark election that we want to have a strong team, strong group of leaders to be able to lead us forward, to help our people save their jobs to save lives and to secure a good future for all of us," he said.
Meanwhile Mr Zhulkarnain, introduced by Mr Gan as a "Chua Chu Kang boy", said he is passionate about issues concerning families and the youth. He said he has "touched many lives" in his years doing pro bono work as a lawyer.
"I hope to able to contribute initially, learn from those who have trodden the path before me and actually bring our community together, stronger together so we can work as best as we can to secure a future for our youth, better jobs for the future and for our community," he said.
PSP CANDIDATE READY TO TAKE LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
PSP's Mr Choo, who is studying law at the National University of Singapore, is the youngest candidate in the 2020 General Election.
He told the media that age "is just a number", and said that young people all over the world have shown that they can make a difference, pointing to examples such as the United Kingdom's Mhairi Black, who was elected at 20.
Mr Choo said he is prepared to take a leave of absence from law school and that he has discussed this with the school.
"They have agreed that I can consider taking a leave of absence if needed," Mr Choo said. When asked whether he will do so for five years, he said he will "see how it goes", but it's "definitely something I'm prepared to undertake".
There are more than 106,000 voters in Chua Chu Kang GRC, which in 2015 saw the incumbent party win 76.89 per cent of the vote against the People's Power Party.