Ex-TV host a familiar face but he wants to earn residents' trust

People's Action Party (PAP) newcomer Darryl David.
People's Action Party (PAP) newcomer Darryl David. PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Former television host and People's Action Party (PAP) newcomer Darryl David, 44, is literally a "star" candidate.

About one in three Ang Mo Kio residents say they recognise him from his days as a host of The Pyramid Game show and a sportscaster for local and regional television.

He is now deputy director at Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design. "I guess I happened to be on telly at a time where it was pre-cable and pre-Internet," he quipped.

The experience of being in the spotlight and working with an audience came through yesterday when he was introduced as a candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC.

So, too, did his ability to speak dialect - speaking in Hokkien when he told of an encounter with a resident. His familiarity with the dialect stems from growing up with his maternal grandmother.

While acknowledging that his time in the media and entertainment scene lends diversity to the party slate, he does not think this will necessarily translate to more votes.

Rather, it is the sincerity he has shown on the ground which he hopes will swing voters the PAP's way: "People may recognise you but it's more important that they feel they can trust you."

He has tried to earn residents' trust by turning up regularly for grassroots events. He has been volunteering in the GRC's Ang Mo Kio-Hougang division for the last 18 months and will succeed its MP, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, who is being fielded elsewhere by the party.

For a year before that, he was in Kebun Baru ward, which will be part of Nee Soon GRC at the next general election.

He hopes to bring what he says is his "very varied" background to the table. His mixed heritage - his father is Indian and mother Chinese - means he can give "a different perspective on interethnic relations".

And while he went to Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, he works closely with polytechnic students: "I understand the importance of skills-based education and see the quality of our polytechnic kids on a first-hand basis."

Rachel Au-Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 16, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-TV host a familiar face but he wants to earn residents' trust'. Print Edition | Subscribe