SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) on Thursday (Jun 25) formally introduced four more candidates for the Jul 10 General Election.
They are: Former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Tan Kiat How, former chief executive officer of IHH Healthcare Tan See Leng, lawyer Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim and former civil servant Ng Ling Ling.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also first assistant secretary-general of the PAP, introduced the four at a press conference on Thursday morning.
The PAP has introduced 12 prospective candidates so far, but has yet to confirm which constituencies they will be fielded in.
TAN KIAT HOW
Mr Tan Kiat How, 42, left his post as IMDA chief executive on Jun 20. He was also part of the team that set up the Pioneer Generation Office, now known as the Silver Generation Office.
Mr Tan left IMDA after more than three years as its chief executive, and said at the time that he and his wife are expecting their first child in August.
He was appointed IMDA chief executive in January 2017 to lead the merger of what was the Infocomm Development Authority and the then-Media Development Authority to form IMDA.
Mr Tan established the SG Digital Office under IMDA. During his time at IMDA, he also enhanced programmes to ensure that low-income households can access digital tools, especially during the COVID-19 period, said the Ministry of Communications and Information when announcing his departure.
“Based on my experience, this is what really counts, focus on getting things done, making tangible improvements in people’s lives. And the most direct and effective way of doing so is to mobilise the community to help one another.
“If I have the chance to serve as an MP, this is what I want to do, build strong local community networks complementing national efforts to upgrade the lives of residents in our community.”
Mr Tan is expected to be fielded in East Coast GRC, having recently spoken in online seminars on digitalisation for residents there.
TAN SEE LENG
Dr Tan See Leng, 55, stepped down as managing director and chief executive officer of IHH Healthcare on Dec 31, 2019, after his contract ended. He took up the appointment in January 2014. The healthcare group is listed in Singapore and Malaysia, and is among the world’s largest.
Its subsidiary, Parkway Pantai, has a network of 28 hospitals in Asia, including Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and Parkway East Hospital in Singapore.
Dr Tan, who is married with three children and has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, said Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh has been his mentor for the last two years.
He also said Singapore's rapidly ageing population is a cause of concern for him and his colleagues.
"Given the exposure and experience that I’ve seen in many other countries and the learnings that I’ve gleaned, I hope to be able to contribute in this particular area to build a sustainable infrastructure system. Not just to support the elderly generation but to also build a caregiver support network to support the caregivers,” Dr Tan said.
When asked if he would be succeeding ESM Goh in Marine Parade GRC, Dr Tan said his grassroots work with Mr Goh was separate from the issue of succession.
"Where I will eventually be posted to, I think it's entirely up to the party," said Dr Tan.
Mr Goh, 78, served as Singapore's second prime minister from 1990 to 2004 and has been widely expected to retire from politics after more than four decades.
ZHULKARNAIN ABDUL RAHIM
Lawyer Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, 39, is a litigation and dispute resolution partner with law firm Dentons Rodyk & Davidson.
Married with three children aged 11, eight and six, Mr Zhulkarnain holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the National University of Singapore and a master's degree in Islamic law and finance from the Singapore Management University.
As part of his work helping the underprivileged in Singapore, he has conducted free legal clinics and done pro bono work as an assigned solicitor with the Legal Aid Bureau for the last 10 years.
He also volunteers with various organisations, including the Casa Raudha Women Home, a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and previously served as the chairman for self-help group AMP Singapore.
Mr Zhulkarnain said he is most concerned with issues concerning social mobility and social cohesion, describing them as “issues that will help shape the future of our Singapore, for our children and the generations after them”.
“My mother is in the Merdeka Generation, my father is in the Pioneer Generation. They shared with me their stories and experience, trials and tribulations, how Singapore has developed over the years.
“I think this is a crucial period, it’s a crucial election for us. That’s why I’m standing, because I feel that we need to do something to be heard and shape our social compact and social cohesion, not just for the next five years. Not just that, but beyond that.”
Mr Zhulkarnain has been seen volunteering in the Keat Hong division of Chua Chu Kang GRC, previously represented by Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad.
NG LING LING
Ms Ng Ling Ling, 48, is the former chief of future primary care and director of community engagement at the Ministry of Health's Office for Healthcare Transformation.
Married with one child, she holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the Nanyang Technological University as well as a master's degree in public administration from the Australian National University.
After a six-year stint in banking, Ms Ng made the switch to the social and public service sector, serving as the managing director of the Community Chest for five years.
“Singapore’s population is ageing rapidly, it will affect both old and young. For the seniors, I hope to advocate for more ways to empower seniors to understand their health and to live healthily for a longer period.
“For young families who have to look after their elderly parents and young children, I empathise with the stress that they will face, and I hope to find ways to support them in their caregiving.”
Noting she had "grown up sensitive to the plight of families (she saw who were) affected by problems such as drugs, gambling and other social challenges", Ms Ng said she would speak up on such issues if elected.
Problems such as drug abuse, for example, are "complex issues" that would require different forms of support such as counselling and intervention programmes involving the family, she said.
"I feel that, you know, as the country becomes more modern ... more fast-paced, urban - there are always going to be a group of people who have struggles. And their plight and their needs need to be spoken (about) and be attended to," she said.
Ms Ng has been tipped to be running in Ang Mo Kio GRC, having participated with former MP Intan Azura Mokhtar in an online meet-the-people session for her Jalan Kayu ward earlier this month.