The candidates: Opposition

Opposition parties give away hints on possible line-ups

SingFirst candidates (from left) David Foo Ming Jin, Wong Chee Wai, Tan Peng Ann, Sukdeu Singh and Wong Soon Hong on a walkabout in Jurong GRC yesterday.
SingFirst candidates (from left) David Foo Ming Jin, Wong Chee Wai, Tan Peng Ann, Sukdeu Singh and Wong Soon Hong on a walkabout in Jurong GRC yesterday.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

As they fanned out across the island to woo voters, opposition parties also gave away strong hints about the candidates they are likely to field.

The Singaporeans First party (SingFirst), led by former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, deployed two distinct five-member teams for outreach activities held in Jurong GRC and Tanjong Pagar GRC.

Psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, sales executive Melvyn Chiu, risk manager Chirag Desai and media consultant Fahmi Rais joined Mr Tan on walkabouts held in Mei Ling Street and Spottiswoode Park, both located in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

In Jurong GRC, information technology consultant Wong Chee Wai, retired army colonel Tan Peng Ann, sales director Wong Soon Hong, chemist David Foo and retired police officer Sukdeu Singh held a walkabout in Clementi Avenue 2 and another in Bukit Batok East Avenue 3.

"The line-up may change. Nothing is confirmed yet," Mr Tan Jee Say told reporters yesterday.

In Jurong, the SingFirst team will challenge the ruling People's Action Party team comprising Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, backbencher Ang Wei Neng, as well as former civil servant Rahayu Mahzam and oncologist Tan Wu Meng, both new faces.

The PAP team won 67 per cent of the vote in the GRC at the 2011 polls, beating the National Solidarity Party (NSP).

In Tanjong Pagar, which has not been contested since its creation in 1991, the PAP slate will be led by labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing. The members are Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah, Dr Chia Shi-Lu, as well as former public servant Joan Pereira and retired senior police officer Melvin Yong, both rookies.

In Sembawang GRC, the NSP sent a strong signal to residents that it would be fielding a team there. The team looks likely to be headed by organising secretary Spencer Ng and could comprise members Nicky Tan, Yadzeth Haris, Ramli Mohamed, Eugene Yeo and Kevryn Lim.

They were among the 20 party activists giving out flags and fliers and taking photographs with residents yesterday. Residents told The Straits Times that Ms Lim and Mr Yadzeth were introduced to them as potential candidates.

The NSP will compete with the PAP team helmed by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and comprising Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Mr Vikram Nair, Mr Amrin Amin and Mr Ong Ye Kung. A PAP team won the GRC in 2011 with 63.9 per cent of the votes against the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

Meanwhile, NSP assistant secretary-general Reno Fong, who was also present yesterday, was introduced as the party's new acting secretary-general.

The post was held by Ms Hazel Poa until she quit the party on Aug 19 over its decision to enter a three- way fight with the Workers' Party in MacPherson SMC.

Ms Poa was seen wearing the SDP's T-shirt and helping out at its outreach activity at the Bukit Timah hawker centre in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

Among the 28 party activists who were present were SDP chief Chee Soon Juan and candidates unveiled in recent days, such as Mr Damanhuri Abas, who was overheard being introduced as a candidate for the GRC.

The SDP will face off against the PAP team led by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan and featuring Minister of State Sim Ann, Mr Liang Eng Hwa and Mr Christopher de Souza, which won with a vote share of 60.1 per cent in 2011 against the SDP.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Opposition parties give away hints on possible line-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe