Hot seats: SMCs to watch - Other constituencies

Speaking out for 'ordinary Singaporeans'

PPP candidates for Chua Chu Kang GRC are (from left) Mr Syafarin Sarif, Mr Goh Meng Seng, Ms Low Wai Choo and Mr Lee Tze Shih. The party, founded in May, is competing in only this GRC.
PPP candidates for Chua Chu Kang GRC are (from left) Mr Syafarin Sarif, Mr Goh Meng Seng, Ms Low Wai Choo and Mr Lee Tze Shih. The party, founded in May, is competing in only this GRC.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The new People's Power Party (PPP) has sent a four-member team to take on the People's Action Party in Chua Chu Kang GRC.

At the Nomination Centre in Chua Chu Kang Primary School yesterday, PPP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng, 45, repeatedly said he wanted to debate Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on healthcare issues.

He founded his party in May and it is competing in only one group representation constituency, with a line-up of what he calls "ordinary Singaporeans" - finance and administrative manager Low Wai Choo, 55; property consultant Lee Tze Shih, 42; and managing consultant Syafarin Sarif, 39.

Mr Gan, 56, told reporters later he was open to a debate, depending on what Mr Goh wanted to raise. But he saw no need for a debate on healthcare, as many healthcare topics had been debated extensively in Parliament and during public consultations.

He urged voters to remember they will be selecting the country's leaders not only until the next general election, but to chart the course for the next 50 years. In 2011, his team won 61.2 per cent of the vote when the GRC was a five-member constituency. With him this time are Ms Low Yen Ling, 41, mayor of South West District; Mr Zaqy Mohamad, 40, a business development director; and newcomer Yee Chia Hsing, 44, a banking officer.

Meanwhile, the single-member seats of Hong Kah North and Pioneer will see the PAP being challenged by the Singapore People's Party and National Solidarity Party.

Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor, 57, who has represented Hong Kah North for 14 years, was the PAP's top scorer in 2011 when she won 70.6 per cent of the vote.

Challenging her this time is SPP's Ravi Philemon, 47, a blogger who said he will represent the concerns of middle-class voters and raise questions about immigration.

In Pioneer, the PAP's Mr Cedric Foo, 55, is challenged by NSP's Mr Elvin Ong, 37, a technical specialist who said many Singaporeans want to be heard. Mr Foo, a chief financial officer, has been in Pioneer for 14 years. He won 60.7 per cent of the vote in 2011.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Speaking out for 'ordinary Singaporeans''. Print Edition | Subscribe