SINGAPORE - On Thursday (Aug 27), several candidates slated to contest in the upcoming general election, including People's Action Party (PAP) members Alex Yam and Christopher De Souza, turned up to submit forms at the Election Department (ELD). It was the second day after the writ of election was issued.
Accompanying the current executive director of the PAP Headquarters, Mr De Souza said that they were there to submit the political donation and minority community committee certificates for all the Group Representative Constituencies (GRCs) and Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) they will be contesting in on behalf of their party.
Members from Singapore People's Party (SPP) and Reform Party (RP) arrived in a steady stream throughout the day to submit political donation and minority community committee certificates.
Among them was SPP chairman Lina Chiam. When asked about the strength of her current team, she said: "I think the team is as strong as can be. I think we will be stronger. We got candidates from all sectors of life. I think they will put up a fight."
SPP member Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, who will be contesting in Mountbatten SMC, arrived with fellow party member Ravi Philemon, who will be contesting in Hong Kah North.
Blogger Han Hui Hui, who said she will be contesting in Radin Mas SMC, also turned up to submit her form. She said she will focus on “CPF and education for the future generation”. On her chances of winning, she said: “I think this is the first female independent candidate...it doesn’t really matter how I fare but whether the issues are raised.”
The RP members present included lawyer M. Ravi, blogger Roy Ngerng and Gilbert Goh, who runs a support website for the unemployed.
Making a late entrance to the ELD was Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) member Harminder Pal Singh.
Mr Singh, who is also the party's chief media officer, was there to make a second batch of submissions for his party’s candidates. He said the best six out of 10 to 15 members would be chosen to contest in the six-member Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
The political donation form is a pre-requisite for nomination. To get the certificate, candidates must, among other things, list the political donations they have received and declare that these had come from permissible donors. The minority community committee certificates prove that a candidate contesting in a Group Represent Constituency is from the particular minority community.
Four people also collected nomination forms on Thursday. Two of them, former businessman Tan Peng Hai, 66, and veteran opposition politician Ng Teck Siong, in his 70s, said that they will be contesting as independent candidates, but did not say where.
Mr Ng, who stood as an independent candidate in the 2011 General Election, was seen leaving the ELD at Prinsep Link with several nomination forms, including a six-member group representation constituency (GRC) form.
Two others, Mr Patrick Hu and a man who did not want to be named, collected the forms on behalf of others. While the latter did not reveal anything about the potential candidates, Mr Hu said that his friend is considering contesting in Yuhua SMC, and that issues such as Singaporeans' stress and happiness levels are issues close to his friend's heart.
The three-day window for potential candidates to submit their certificates closes on Friday (Aug 28). Nomination day will be on Sept 1 and Polling Day will be on Sept 11.