Ng Chee Meng, Sun Xueling join PAP’s Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC team

Ng Chee Meng, Sun Xueling join PAP’s Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC team

The former Chief of Defence Force and the Temasek Holdings investment director are new faces on the People’s Action Party’s six-member slate.

SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) on Saturday (Aug 22) officially named its slate of candidates for the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC) for the coming General Election (GE).

Joining the six-member GRC team are Mr Ng Chee Meng, 47, the former Chief of Defence Force, and Ms Sun Xueling, 36, who is an investment director with Temasek Holdings. Current Member of Parliament (MP) for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Gan Thiam Poh will join PAP’s slate in Ang Mo Kio GRC, while Ms Penny Low will retire from politics.

Thanking Ms Low for her years of service, Mr Teo said: “Penny has devoted 14 years to serving residents and Singapore. She is known to many of our residents personally, and she is very caring and nurturing. She has built a very strong grassroots team – a cohesive team who will serve our residents well.”

The PAP team won in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC in the 2011 GE, beating the challengers from the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) with 64.79 per cent of the votes.

The SDA has said it will contest the constituency again.

The six PAP candidates for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC are:

Mr Teo Chee Hean, 60, Deputy Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Teo Chee Hean. (File photo: Xabryna Kek)

(Photo: Xabryna Kek)

Mr Teo is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security and the Minister for Home Affairs. He previously held Cabinet portfolios for Defence, Education and Environment.

A former career soldier, he became Chief of Navy in 1991 with the rank of Rear Admiral. He left the service to join politics in 1992, when he was elected as an MP for Marine Parade GRC in a by-election. He has served as MP in Pasir Ris since 1997.

“We have grown with our residents over 18 years, and shared much and overcome difficulties. We have a team with experience but also new faces to take us forward,” Mr Teo said.

“We work closely as one combined team. One week a month, we rotate our MPs for Meet-The-People sessions. This way, we get to understand the concerns of all our residents and not just a specific division.”

On what young voters are looking for, Mr Teo said: “They want a good future full of opportunities and avenues to fulfil their potential in things they want to do. To achieve this, you need a good, strong, stable team who takes Singapore into the future. Who works together to build a brighter future for all of us.

“You don’t have to look very far beyond the region, and even in developed democracies, to see continual conflict in politics that brings paralysis. The lack of ability to plan for long term creates many problems for young people trying to maximise their potential.”

Responding to a question on when the PAP will release its manifesto, Mr Teo said it will be revealed in due time. "If you look at our track record, we've always fulfilled what we've said we would do... We have a strong, positive agenda that will take Singapore forward."

Mr Teo Ser Luck, 47, Minister of State for Trade and Industry

File photo of Teo Ser Luck. (Photo: Xabryna Kek)

(Photo: Xabyrna Kek)

Mr Teo is concurrently Mayor for the North East District. He was first elected as MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC in 2006, and served as Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, as well as Transport, from 2008 to 2011. He led Singapore’s successful bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Mr Zainal Sapari, 49, assistant secretary-general, National Trades Union Congress

(Photo: Xabryna Kek)

Mr Zainal chairs the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council. The former Ministry of Education superintendent left a career in teaching to join politics in 2011.

Dr Janil Puthucheary, 42, senior consultant, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

(Photo: Xabyrna Kek)

Dr Puthucheary is trained as a medical doctor. He was first elected into Parliament in 2011. He is also Medical Director for Faculty Development at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

Mr Ng Chee Meng, 47, former Chief of Defence Force

(Photo: Xabryna Kek)

Mr Ng retired from the Singapore Armed Forces on Aug 18, after nearly three decades in service and 29 months as Chief of Defence Force.

He was chairman of the State Funeral Organising Committee for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and also headed the National Day Celebrations Committee. He has also held several directorship appointments in public and private organisations, including the boards of Singapore Technologies Engineering, Defence Science and Technology Agency and Jurong Town Corporation.

If elected, he would make history as the highest-ranking career soldier to become an MP. He is married with two daughters.

Mr Ng, who grew up in "an average family" - not rich, but comfortable - said he supported the policy of meritoracy. "My brothers and I wouldn't have the same opportunities anywhere else in the world. (But) I'd like to see it not taken to extremes and not too narrowly defined," he said. "Where we meet with some success in life, my basic principle is to give back to society, so that the next generation has the same opportunities."

He volunteered with the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre for five years from 2009. "You see some kids with no money for recess." These are social problems with "no easy solution", he said, but require a concerted effort from all with the government working hand in hand with the people.

“When Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away, I had the privilege to see up close Singaporeans coming together, united as one people, to thank Mr Lee for his years of contribution to Singapore. That unity is derived from good leadership, good politics. Today, Singapore has a good, clean non-corrupt government. When I was asked to consider coming into politics, this is what I considered – how we can continue this,” Mr Ng said.

“My immediate priority is to walk the ground, actively seek the views of residents and hear their concerns. In the short period I’ve been here, I’ve had some opportunities to hear first-hand their concerns, aspirations, day-to-day needs like childcare and transport.

“If given the chance to serve, I will work hard to improve the environment for residents. And make our little Pasir Ris-Punggol kampung a more lively place to live in.”

Ms Sun Xueling, 36, investment director at Temasek Holdings

(Photo: Xabryna Kek)

Ms Sun has been helping out at grassroots events since 2001 in Buona Vista and Punggol West. She served as the assistant secretary of the Youth Sub-Committee of the Buona Vista CCC in 2004 and assistant secretary of the Buona Vista CCC in 2006.

In 2003, she joined the Economic Development Board. Subsequently, she joined DBS as assistant vice-president, then was senior vice-president in Macquarie Capital Securities HK and director of Deutsche Bank HK. She joined Temasek as a director in 2014.

“I started volunteering in 2001. What kept me going was the realization that when a fellow man comes up to you to share his problems: You see the world through his eyes, you see issues from his perspective. You feel compassion and a deep desire to try and help him,” Ms Sun said.

The time she spent in grassroots has made her a better person, she added. “When you try to solve others’ problems, your own problems become insignificant. You become a better person. I see politics as a way for me to do more than just community service. I've come in touch with local issues but once you go into politics, you get a chance to affect policies on a national front.”

On what young voters want, she said: “Young voters want change not just for change’s sake, but for improvement. I want to make sure we deliver improvement, whether it is in eldercare or childcare. I hope to bring this vibrancy and change to our voters here.”

Source: CNA/ly/cy