In 1999, he was approached by a friend to manage voluntary welfare organisation Pertapis Children’s Home. Despite having to take a pay cut — he was in banking then — Mr Firuz Khan decided to try out the role because he wanted to have a better understanding of issues faced by the Malay-Muslim community, while he also felt that Singapore society had changed in the time he was in the United Kingdom for his studies.
His two years as principal of Pertapis Children’s Home was what spurred Mr Khan to embark on a political journey. “(The experience) led me to believe that I could do more by helping others outside of the home as well and I started to look for other ways to continue this journey. In 2006, I joined the Workers’ Party,” Mr Khan said after he was introduced yesterday as one of the party’s candidate for the upcoming General Election.
His time with the party has helped him to identify issues that affect Singaporeans most, he added.
Mr Khan also shared one of the encounters he had during his time at Pertapis that compelled him “to want to change things”.
It was a Saturday morning, one of the days families could visit their children at the home, but Mr Khan noticed two children on their own without visitors.
When he found out from the home’s social workers that the two children’s parents did not have the means to travel to see them, Mr Khan arranged for a taxi to fetch the parents over. “When the parents arrived and the family was reunited, I could see smiles all over their faces and it touched my heart,” he said.
The self-proclaimed social advocate said if he was elected into Parliament in next month’s poll, he would speak up on topics such as income inequality, healthcare, housing and education.
Firuz Khan, 48
Owner of a chocolate business
• Holder of a Master of Business Administration in International Business from University of Birmingham
• Represented Singapore in a tournament in Japan with the PA Youth Under-21 football team in 1984
• Left the banking industry to be the principal of Pertapis Children’s Home to understand social issues in Singapore
• Joined the Workers’ Party in 2006 and volunteers at Mr Chen Show Mao’s Meet-the-People session at the Paya Lebar division of Aljunied GRC
• Married with a son
HE SAID: “In 1999, I was asked by a friend to manage Pertapis. I took a pay cut from my banking career to take up the challenge because I wanted to understand the social issues engulfing our community. It was also my way to contribute to Singapore and especially to my own community, the Malay Muslims … (The experience) led me to believe that I could do more by helping others outside of the home as well and I started to look for other ways to continue this journey. In 2006, I joined the Workers’ Party.”