GE2015: Workers' Party launches campaign video, unveils final batch of candidates

(From left) Ms Frieda Chan, Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim, Hougang MP Png Eng Huat, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Bernard Chen.
(From left) Ms Frieda Chan, Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim, Hougang MP Png Eng Huat, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Bernard Chen. ST PHOTO: DANSON CHEONG
(From left) Ms Frieda Chan, Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim, Hougang MP Png Eng Huat, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Bernard Chen.
(From left) Ms Frieda Chan, Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim, Hougang MP Png Eng Huat, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Bernard Chen. ST PHOTO: DANSON CHEONG

SINGAPORE - A fifth and final batch of candidates was unveiled by the Workers' Party (WP) at its Syed Alwi Road headquarters on Monday (Aug 31).

The afternoon session also marked the launch of the party's 16-minute campaign video, titled "Empower Your Future". 

WP chairman Sylvia Lim and Hougang MP Png Eng Huat introduced the three faces - two of whom are new - to complete its 28-candidate slate for the Sept 11 polls. They are medical social worker Frieda Chan, 39; funeral services company executive Bernard Chen, 29; and research and consultancy firm CEO Leon Perera, 44.

Having followed the party since 1980, Mr Perera expressed his belief that every citizen should take an active interest in politics and in shaping the country's social system. 

"A strong opposition will help get people involved," added Mr Perera, who intends to voice out about retirement adequacy issues and developing the economy in a holistic manner. 

Second-time candidate Ms Chan, who recently gave birth to a boy, touched on her experience as a young mother and a social worker. 

"I believe in financial stability for Singaporeans and a balanced family life - do working parents have enough childcare and parental support leave?" she said. 

"There are a lot of gaps in the system and I hope to serve as I am in touch with these people everyday."

Mr Chen, the last to introduce himself, shared that he had recently completed a Master's degree at the University of Oxford. He joined the WP in 2006 and had previously served as a legislative assistant to party chief Low Thia Khiang and Aljunied MP Muhamad Faisal Manap. 

"I got in touch with residents when I was helping Mr Low and Mr Faisal. Small issues for them are big issues for us," he said, speaking in English and Mandarin. 

"I've always been interested in history and politics and Singapore will face profound challenges after SG50; it needs to integrate the demands of an ageing population with the needs of young Singaporeans, and as Singaporeans we all have a role to play."

The trio joins the 16 names who had been announced in groups of four since Aug 26. They include three previous candidates - Ms Chan, software engineer Koh Choong Yong, 42, and polytechnic lecturer L. Somasundaram, 52.

Mr Koh stood in Sengkang West single-member constituency (SMC) at the 2011 General Election, while Ms Chan and Mr Somasundaram were in the team that contested the now-defunct Moulmein-Kallang group representation constituency (GRC).

Notable election newbies include corporate lawyer He Ting Ru, 32; sociologist Daniel Goh, 42; and former associate librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36, who has been volunteering with the WP since 2004.

The party is keeping mum on which constituencies they will be fielded in, with its final line-up expected to be known only on Nomination Day on Tuesday.

 
 

It said previously that its seven incumbents will stay put to defend the WP-held wards of Aljunied GRC, as well as Hougang and Punggol East SMCs.

Mr Low 58; Ms Lim, 50; Mr Chen Show Mao, 54; Mr Pritam Singh, 39; and Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, 40 are the current Aljunied MPs. Mr Png, 53, serves Hougang while Ms Lee Li Lian, 37, is the Punggol East incumbent.

Non-Constituency MPs Gerald Giam and Yee Jenn Jong are also tipped to lead teams standing in East Coast and Marine Parade GRCs respectively.

The WP is fielding 28 candidates - up from 23 in 2011 - in five GRCs and five SMCs. Besides Aljunied, East Coast and Marine Parade, the other two GRCs are Jalan Besar and Nee Soon.

The five SMCs other than Hougang and Punggol East are Fengshan, MacPherson and Sengkang West.

Last Saturday, Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam and five other members launched the party's 48-page manifesto, titled "Empower Your Future", and a new mobile app.