SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Thursday (Jun 25) introduced five more potential candidates for the Jul 10 General Election.
They are former Singapore Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Nadarajah Loganathan, lawyer Wendy Low, CEO of a venture accelerator Kumaran Pillai, customer service manager Damien Tay and businessman Michael Chua.
With this latest announcement, the PSP has now introduced 17 prospective candidates, but has not confirmed which constituencies they will be fielded.
Commenting on the party's potential candidates, PSP’s secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock said they are “ordinary people” with a “simple purpose” to step forward and serve the country.
“They are so simple and so honest and I was so happy that they have stepped forward,” said Dr Tan at a virtual press conference.
READ: PSP keen on contesting West Coast, Tanjong Pagar, Chua Chu Kang GRCs and 5 SMCs: Tan Cheng Bock
Mr Loganathan, 57, served in the SAF for 25 years before he retired in 2009 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He completed his ground tour in 1994 and held several appointments in human resources development before becoming a trainer in the last eight years of his military career.
Since his retirement from the military, he has pursued his passion of developing people and became an adult educator.
During the press conference, Dr Tan highlighted that Mr Loganathan was part of his team while he was MP for Ayer Rajah with the People's Action Party. The ward is now part of West Coast GRC.
Mr Loganathan said that he had supported Singapore’s first generation of leaders, but over the last decade, he felt that some government policies on housing, healthcare and jobs made him realise that there was room for improvement.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic will leave “a huge damage” to Singapore’s employment figures.
"It would be a good time for (the Manpower Ministry) to review their new labour force structure, also taking into account the new economy,” said Mr Loganathan.
Ms Wendy Low currently leads the intellectual property advisory and dispute practice at legal firm Eldan Law. The 43-year-old was previously a partner with Rajah and Tann.
She has also served in various NGOs such as AWARE and Justice Without Borders where she provided pro bono legal assistance to domestic workers who were abused and unfairly treated in Singapore.
Ms Low was also involved in volunteer work to distribute food and rations to the homeless.
She said that law has given her a very unique predisposition in her thinking on the “injustices of the world”.
“Coming from a personal place in my journey is a constant enquiry of where society has let down certain classes in Singapore and that has prompted me to do outreach where I can,” said Ms Low.
Mr Damien Tay, 51, has 30 years of experience in commercial operations in MNCs across the electronics, retail and medical industries. He is currently a customer service manager.
He outlined three broad areas which he would like to champion – better job opportunities for Singaporeans, reducing inequality and addressing climate change.
To address environment issues, he is advocating that the Government impose a higher carbon tax, encourage the use of electric vehicles and place solar panels on top of new HDB flats.
“The Government has started imposing the carbon tax but we should push for the carbon tax to be raised sooner rather than later because the sea levels are rising quite quickly and this is a source of concern,” said Mr Tay.
Mr Kumaran Pillai, 49, is CEO for venture accelerator Apple Seed. He was part of the editorial team at the Independent News, but left the position to join politics.
He recalled how the burst of the dotcom bubble in 2001 impacted his financial situation, leaving him struggling to afford to buy milk for his newborn baby.
Dr Tan noted that despite several setbacks and struggles, Mr Pillai overcame them and became a more determined and resilient person.
Mr Pillai said he is concerned that Singapore does not have a level playing field and is keen to “take the fight to Parliament”.
“It’s time to make my arguments there. I hope to be represented and be the voice for the people,” he added.
During the press conference, Mr Pillai said he would be contesting Kebun Baru SMC. The single-seat ward has been carved out from Nee Soon GRC.
Mr Michael Chua, 55, graduated from the London School of Economics on an SAF Merit Scholarship.
He also has a masters degree in operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School US, under the Defence Technology Training Award.
Dr Tan said Mr Chua was among the first few people who joined the party when it was founded in 2019. He is currently organising secretary for PSP.
He left the army as a full time regular in 2002 and continued to serve as an NSman in reservist as a deputy brigade commander until 2012.
On why he wanted to serve the people, Mr Chua said: “I owe it to Singapore that I make the best use of my education, and this is my opportunity to do so."
Mr Chua now runs his own business after working in various private sector companies.