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GE 2020: Here's A List Of Potential Candidates To Look Out For Ahead Of Nomination Day

After Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s national broadcast where he called for an election on Tuesday (June 23), the Elections Department announced that President Halimah Yacob had dissolved Parliament and issued the Writ of Election.

Nomination Day is set to take place on June 30 and Polling Day will be held subsequently in two weeks time on July 10.

With the upcoming election, we take a look at the potential candidates from a record of 12 opposition parties and identified promising individuals from People’s Action Party, Workers’ Party, Progress Singapore Party, Singapore People’s Party, Democratic Progressive Party, Peoples Voice Party and Reform Party.

All eyes will now be on these potential candidates who have already been spotted, either on the ground or engaging residents at community events online.

People’s Action Party

The People’s Action Party (PAP) was set up in 1954 by Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who was also Singapore’s first Prime Minister.

The party is currently led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who succeeded Mr Goh Chok Tong as Secretary-General in 2004.

PAP is the main political party represented in Parliament, along with its main opposition, the Workers’ Party.

Image Credit: (From Clockwise) Mariam Jaafar/Facebook, Gan Siow Huang/Facebook, Dr Tan See Leng/New Voice, Carrie Tan/The Asian Entrepreneur
Potential CandidateAgeBackground
Gan Siow Huang452015: Appointed as Republic Of Singapore Air Force Brigadier-General before resuming role as Chief of Staff-Air
March 2020: Resigned as Chief of Staff-Air
Apr 2020: Joined e2i as deputy chief executive
Carrie Tan2014: Founded charity Daughters of Tomorrow
Dr Tan See Leng552014: Appointed as chief executive of IHH Healthcare
2019: Stepped down as chief executive of IHH Healthcare
Mariam Jaafar442006: Graduated from Harvard Business School
2006: Joined Boston Consulting Group
2013: Appointed as partner and managing director (Singapore) of Boston Consulting Group
Sharael Mohd Taha382018: Appointed as VP of Project Management Office & Strategy at Singapore Aero Services

Workers’ Party

The Workers’ Party was founded in 1957 by David Marshall.

For two decades, Low Thia Khiang represented Workers’ Party since the 1991 general election.

The 2011 general election saw the party increasing its presence. Low left the Hougang constituency to join Chairperson Sylvia Lim in the running for Aljunied GRC. 

The WP team eventually won the polls, marking the first-ever capture of a GRC by an opposition party. The party also retained the Hougang seat through its candidate Yaw Shin Leong.

Pritam Singh was elected to the post of Secretary-General unopposed on 8 April 2018 after Low decided to step down for leadership renewal.

Image Credit: (From Clockwise) Pritam Singh/Facebook, Nicole Seah/Zimbio, Fadli Fawzi/LinkedIn, Jamus Lim/Facebook, Raeesah Khan/Up Your Game Community
Potential CandidateAge Background
Pritam Singh432011: Started serving as the MP of Aljunied GRC
2018: Took over from long-time party chief Low Thia Khiang as secretary-general
April 2020: Questioned Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on the use of Singapore’s reserves to fund the four budgets announced
June 2020: Spoke in support of Singaporean writer Alfian Sa’at, who has been accused twice of being a “pro-Malaysia activist” by the PAP, during the recent Budget debate on June 5 in Parliament
Nicole Seah332011: Seah was one of the star candidates for National Solidarity Party (NSP) in the 2011 election. Then, the NSP team she was with received 43.4 per cent of the vote at Marine Parade GRC and lost to PAP
2015: Announced that she would not be rejoining the National Solidarity Party nor stand for the 2015 election
2015: Started volunteering for WP
June 2020: She appeared as one of the 12 individuals unveiled in a teaser video dropped by Workers’ Party titled “GE2020: Coming Soon” on June 23
Raeesah Khan262016: Founded non-profit organisation Reyna Movement.
Jan 2020: Spotted handing out party leaflets at a walkabout in the Punggol region
June 2020: Khan is one of the 12 individuals revealed in the teaser video, alongside Nicole Seah
Jamus Lim442000: Graduated from London School of Economics
2006: Graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a PhD in Economics
2007: Started working at the World Bank
2015: Graduated from Harvard University with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Political Economics
2018: Started teaching as an associate professor of economics at ESSEC Business School
June 2020: He is also one of the individuals who appeared in the teaser video “GE2020: Coming Soon”
Fadli Fawzi2013 – 2016: He also won the term award for being one of the top 5 students in his cohort and received the Aljunied Prize, for being the top student in Islamic Commercial Law
2016: Obtained his legal education from the Juris Doctor program at Singapore Management University where he graduated cum laude
2020: He has volunteered at Singh’s Meet-the-People sessions
Jan 2020: Started as a lawyer at Inkwell Law Corporation

Progress Singapore Party

The Progress Singapore Party is founded by former Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock and 11 other members in 2019 — some of them are also former People’s Action Party’s cadres.

On 29 September 2019, Tan led about 300 party members and volunteers in PSP’s first official island-wide walkabout.

In 2020, PSP’s membership has reached 1,000.

Image Credit: (From Clockwise) Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Lee Hsien Yang, Dr Tan Meng Wah and Choo Shaun Ming/PSP
Potential CandidateAgeBackground
Dr Tan Cheng Bock801980 – 2006: Dr Tan was MP for Ayer Rajah for 26 years, when he was with the PAP. The ward is now part of West Coast GRC
2011: Stood for the 2011 Presidential Election, where he lost marginally to Dr Tony Tan
2019: Formed Progress Singapore Party
2020: Serves as the Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party
Dr Ang Yong Guan651986 – 2003: Served as a psychiatrist at the SAF Military Medicine Institut
1995: Awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) for his contribution as a community leader at Kembangan Constituency helping then-MP Mr George Yeo for more than 15 years
2011: Contested in the GE as a candidate for Singapore Democratic Party
2015: Ran in the GE as a candidate for SingFirst (Singaporeans First) political party
2020: Appeared as a candidate of PSP
Choo Shaun Ming232010 – 2014: Studied at Raffles Institution where he was a student leader
2018: Started as a law undergraduate student in NUS
2020: Graced PSP’s stage for the upcoming general election as the youngest candidate
Dr Tan Meng Wah57– A former Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), NUS. Before joining IPS, he was an Associate Lecturer with UniSIM
– Received his PhD in World Economics from Nanjing University in China
2020: Works as an industry consultant teaching at NTU, with its M.Sc in Technopreneurship
2020: Serves on the policy team of PSP
Lee Hsien Yang62– Younger Brother of PM Lee Hsien Loong
– Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces
1995 – 2007: Recruited as the CEO of SingTel
2007 – 2013: Became the Non-Executive Director and Chairman of Fraser and Neave 
2009 – 2018: Served as chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
2017: A public row broke out between himself and his sister Dr Lee Wei Ling, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the fate of their parents’ home at 38 Oxley Road
June 2020: Dr Tan Cheng Bock announced on Wednesday morning (June 24) after having breakfast with Lee at Tiong Bahru Market that Lee has joined the PSP

Other potential candidates:

Secretary-general of Singapore People’s Party, Steve Chia

Political Party: Singapore People’s Party

Image Credit: SPP/Facebook

He is the Secretary-General of the Singapore People’s Party since November last year and was former Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) from 2001 to 2005.

He served as a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from 2001 to 2006, during which time the NSP was part of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).

Secretary-general of Democratic Progressive Party, Mohamad Hamim Aliyas

Political Party: Democratic Progressive Party

Image Credit: Flickr

In the 2011 general election, Hamim represented the SPP team led by party’s chief Chiam See Tong in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

They faced the PAP team led by former Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng. The SPP team was defeated but obtained a credible 43 per cent of the votes.

A year later in January 2013, Hamim joined the Democratic Progressive Party following an invitation from the party’s founder Seow Khee Leng in December 2012 for its leadership renewal.

He was subsequently elected as the party’s Chairman in the same year.

He currently serves as the secretary-general of opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

Secretary-general of Reform Party, Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Political Party: Reform Party

Image Credit: Kenneth Jeyaretnam/Facebook

In 2007, his father J. B. Jeyaretnam formed the Reform Party.

The survival of the opposition party seemed to have been in question when he suffered a heart attack and died in September 2008.

With the demise of his father, Jeyaretnam began an active role in Singaporean politics. He started contributing articles on economic themes to the Singaporean online blog, The Online Citizen.

Jeyaretnam ran in the 2011 general election where he criticised the PAP for failing to improve the lives of ordinary Singaporeans as their median incomes have remained stagnant over the last few years.

Secretary-general of Singapore Democratic Party, Dr Chee Soon Juan

Political Party: Singapore Democratic Party

Image Credit: Chee Soon Juan/Facebook

Chee started out as a lecturer at the National University of Singapore before entering politics in 1992 after founder Chiam See Tong recruited him to join the SDP.

Subsequently, Chiam was succeeded by Chee as the leader of the SDP in 1995 and continues to serve as the leader.

At his walkabout in Bukit Batok on Saturday, Dr Chee told residents that he intends to contest the ward, as he handed out flyers featuring a photograph of himself with the text “Chee Soon Juan for Bukit Batok”.

The party has not officially unveiled any candidates.

Secretary-general of Peoples Voice Party, Lim Tean

Political Party: Peoples Voice Party

Image Credit: The Independent

A lawyer by training, Lim previously served as Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party from 2015 to 2017.

He was approached just a week before the 2015 General Elections, and asked if he would serve as the new Secretary-General.

Despite the relatively short time before the election, Lim Tean accepted and along with a team of candidates contested Tampines GRC, receiving 24.9 per cent of the votes.

He is the only person to ever be appointed to the post of Secretary-General without having held any party office in Singapore.

In 2018, Lim announced the founding of a new political party, Peoples Voice, headed by himself.

Highly-Contested Areas To Look Out For

Since PM Lee called on an election yesterday (June 23), the heat has been intensifying as the political parties wasted no time in revealing their line-ups.

We are set to see more faces, new or old, as well as those highly speculated to contest in the GE in the days leading up to Nomination Day.

Aljunied GRC will be a hot seat as the WP wrested the five-member GRC from the ruling party at the 2011 polls with 50.95 per cent of the vote against PAP.

The GRC — home to 151,007 voters — is likely to again provide the hottest contest between the ruling party and the WP.

Another GRC that will be highly contested in is Sengkang GRC. Sengkang West and Punggol East have traditionally been WP stomping grounds. The PAP won Punggol East by a slim margin in the 2015 election, and the WP has continued to walk the ground in the areas now under Sengkang GRC.

Additionally, West Coast GRC is also likely going to see Tan Cheng Bock returning to his old stomping ground as an opposition candidate for the first time, since he is a well-known face there.

He was a popular MP who held the Ayer Rajah seat for the ruling party for 26 years, when his stronghold was absorbed into West Coast GRC.

Featured Image Credit: The Independent, MHA, Zimbio, PSP, Mariam Jaafar/Facebook

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