The Workers’ Party unveiled four more potential candidates for the 2015 General Election on Thursday (Aug 27).
The new faces presented at the press conference were Mr Luke Koh, Ms Cheryl Loh, Mr Firuz Khan and Mr Terence Tan. Also at the WP headquarters for the event were party Chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Png Eng Huat.
Mr Terence Tan, 44, a litigation lawyer and entrepreneur, said: “I’ve been walking with Mr Yee Jenn Jong in Joo Chiat and the surrounding areas since 2013. I’ve witnessed WP’s genuine commitment to serve Singaporeans and benefit Singaporeans’ lives. It was while volunteering with WP that I witnessed true servant leadership.”
He added: “I believe there is much desire for responsible, reasonable and rational checks and balances for the Government. An Opposition that does not oppose purely for the sake of it.
“I really do believe that the Government has focused on too much short-term economic gain instead of long-term gain for us.”
He said he found that things were “not the same” when he came back to Singapore following a decade overseas.
“Singaporeans are less optimistic, they can’t make the CPF Minimum Sum … we need to have reasonable debate in Parliament so the Government can refocus its policies. We need to remind the Government: Please put Singaporeans at the forefront of their policies.”
Ms Cheryl Loh, 31, a sales consultant with a document management company, said her focus was on education: “The young are the future of Singapore, and I feel no young person in Singapore should be deprived of an education because of their family background.”
“The Workers’ Party has been around for more than five decades, which speaks volumes for our credibility. We are here to stay. We are here for a purpose: To better the lives of Singaporeans,” added Ms Loh.
“We are here to provide a voice for fellow Singaporeans in Parliament.
“If elected, I will come up with events so that the community will get together, I can talk to them, and understand their concerns and issues.”
Mr Firuz Khan, 48, a manager at a chocolate manufacturer, said he joined the WP in 2006.
“I had always wanted to help my countrymen. My journey to politics started when I returned from my studies in the UK in 1996, and noticed things were different. I look forward to contributing more for the people of Singapore,” said Mr Khan.
Mr Khan – a volunteer at the Paya Lebar division of Aljunied GRC, was also the principal of Pertapis Children’s Home from 1999 to 2001, as well as a member of the Singapore Malay Teachers’ Cooperative.
Mr Luke Koh, 41, managing partner of a private investment business, has been helping out at the grassroots level with both party Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang and Faisal Manap.
“Why vote for the WP? David Marshall dedicated his life to freeing Singapore from British rule. He founded the WP more than 50 years ago. He loved Singapore, and I too love Singapore,” said Mr Koh.
He said the campaigns of decades past to get people to stop at two children, as well as the Graduate Mothers scheme have led to an “ageing crisis” in Singapore.
“Singapore needs more WP Members of Parliament to prevent another crisis in the next 20 to 30 years.”
THE VOTE AS BARGAINING POWER
Said Chairman Sylvia Lim on the party’s “Empower your future” slogan, unveiled on Wednesday: “We have always seen the vote as a bargaining power citizens have with the government, so people can express their views on the performance of the government.
“We do see the vote as instrumental to the people being empowered to bring the country to the right direction.
“Because of the more complex environment, even the Government admits that it doesn’t have the answers to everything. The Government monitors votes very carefully, so people are empowered in our negotiations with the Government.”
The party has declared that it will contest 28 seats – 5 more than the 23 candidates it fielded in 2011 – but has said they will only announce the constituencies the candidates will contest on Nomination Day on Sep 1.
As the incumbent, the Workers’ Party is expected to defend its seat in Aljunied GRC, Hougang SMC and Punggol East SMC. WP chairman Sylvia Lim earlier said that all the same teams will defend their constituencies.
On Wednesday, the party unveiled four potential candidates: NUS Associate Professor of sociology Daniel Goh, engineer Redzwan Hafidz Abdul Razak, Ruckus Wireless Singapore software engineer Koh Choong Yong and banker Dylan Ng.