SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party (WP) on Saturday (Jun 27) announced a third batch of prospective candidates for the General Election, including three new faces and two former candidates.
The new faces are: IT professional Nathaniel Koh, 36, contracts administrator Tan Chen Chen, 38, and lawyer Fadli Fawzi, 40.
It will be the second electoral contest for Mr Kenneth Foo and Mr Terence Tan, who had run in the 2015 General Election.
WP chief Pritam Singh and chairman Sylvia Lim introduced the five prospective candidates at a virtual press conference on Saturday.
Fourteen candidates have been announced so far in three press conferences, with a last session to come on Sunday. WP will be contesting 21 seats in Aljunied, East Coast, Marine Parade and Sengkang GRCs, as well as Hougang and Punggol West SMCs.
The candidates in the wards WP holds will be refreshed, Mr Singh had said earlier. Former Non-Constituency Members of Parliament Leon Perera and Gerald Giam will be contesting in Aljunied GRC, replacing Mr Chen Show Mao and former party chief Low Thia Khiang, who is retiring from electoral politics.
Mr Dennis Tan will be standing in Hougang SMC in place of Mr Png Eng Huat who is also not running this election. WP has not announced where any of the other candidates will be fielded.
“I’m not sure if that equates to a weak mandate - I think that’s still a strong mandate for the PAP. Singaporeans should also consider, as all of us collectively fight COVID-19, what about the balance in Parliament?” he said.
“The only way we can ensure there is a balance in Parliament is if Singaporeans make their vote count and ensure that we have credible opposition elected to Parliament.”
NATHANIEL KOH KIM KUI
IT professional Nathaniel Koh, 36, is contesting in a General Election for the first time but has been volunteering with WP for 11 years.
Mr Koh said he joined WP in 2009. He was in the party’s youth wing and was an election agent in the now-defunct Sengkang West SMC.
He had volunteered at former Aljunied GRC MP Faisal Manap’s Meet-the-People (MPS) sessions and since the 2015 GE, has been secretarial assistant to Mr Singh at his MPS.
“The world is changing and no one has a monopoly of wisdom or virtue. I fundamentally believe that we need more checks and balances in Parliament,” he said.
“I stand in this election as a continuation of my journey to serve Singapore and Singaporeans.”
He also said that he wants to fight for more family-friendly policies that will encourage Singaporeans to have more children.
Mr Koh and his wife are expecting their first child.
TAN CHEN CHEN
Ms Tan Chen Chen, 38, a contracts administrator, is another new face.
She said that she has volunteered with WP since 2015 and was active in Aljunied GRC under Mr Low’s Bedok Reservoir-Punggol division.
“I want to change Singaporeans’ lives for the better through practical action, and not oppose for the sake of opposing,” she said in Mandarin.
She added that rising housing prices is an important issue for young people in Singapore that she would like to look at.
She is married and has a three-month-old baby.
MUHAMMAD FADLI MOHAMMED FAWZI
Mr Fadli Fawzi, 40, is a lawyer at Inkwell Law Corporation. Before that, he was a senior policy development officer with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
He graduated from the Singapore Management University’s juris doctor programme and holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in sociology from the National University of Singapore.
He has been a councillor of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council since May 2014.
“I joined the Workers’ Party and took the chance to run as a candidate because I understand that it is ultimately politics that underlies our structures, policies and legislation,” he said.
“This is my promise if elected: I will serve my constituents and the people of Singapore by speaking up for the powerless and speaking truth to power.”
He added that he wants to reframe the conversation about Malay community issues “away from the lens of race”.
“Instead of understanding the plight of the community through a racial lens, we should instead approach it ... as an economic structural issue.”
Mr Fadli is single.
KENNETH FOO SECK GUAN
Mr Kenneth Foo, 43, was part of the five-member WP team that contested Nee Soon GRC in the 2015 polls, but lost to the People’s Action Party there.
Mr Foo, deputy director at the Singapore Cancer Society, is Ms Lim's legislative assistant.
He said that he would focus on three areas - accountability, responsibility and transparency - if elected.
“We need to have a strong opposition in the Parliament to make the Government accountable for their actions,” he said.
Mr Foo is married.
TERENCE TAN LI-CHERN
Mr Terence Tan ran in Marine Parade GRC in 2015 as part of a five-member team led by Mr Yee Jenn Jong, who will also be contesting the coming General Election. The WP team garnered 35.9 per cent of votes cast and lost to the People’s Action Party.
The 48-year-old lawyer is the deputy organising secretary of the party and has been volunteering with WP since 2011.
Besides practising law, he has had experience in the management levels of property development companies, hotels and the hospitality sector, he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test for the Singapore economy and Singaporeans, said Mr Tan, with many challenges remaining ahead.
“We do not require more groupthink. We need a more diverse and inclusive Parliament; a Parliament that constructively and robustly debates the way forward.”
He said that the “institution of a properly functioning participatory and parliamentary democracy” is one fundamental change he would like to see in the country.
“I appeal to Singaporeans to consider whether we should continue down the same path, without at least appointing a few people to call out instances where the emperor may not wear clothes.”
Mr Tan is married with two sons.