Workers' Party

WP candidates qualified but not elitists: Dennis Tan

Workers' Party chief and Aljunied GRC candidate Low Thia Khiang greeting a supporter at the WP rally in Serangoon Stadium yesterday.
Workers' Party chief and Aljunied GRC candidate Low Thia Khiang greeting a supporter at the WP rally in Serangoon Stadium yesterday.

The Workers' Party (WP) may have candidates with strong academic and career credentials, but this does not mean they are elitists, the party's candidate for Fengshan SMC, Mr Dennis Tan, said at a rally last night.

Elitists, said Mr Tan, quoting WP chief Low Thia Khiang in a recent interview, are "people who think they are the best and think they know better than anyone on what should be done, and they expect people to listen to them".

But WP candidates start out as volunteers who do "hard and unglamorous" grassroots work, said the lawyer. Citing the example of community dinner events, he said: "It is not unusual for the MPs to stay back and pack up the tables and stack up chairs, hand in hand with the rank and file of our WP members and volunteers."

An old boy of Raffles Institution (RI), Mr Tan said the media had asked for his views on the speech made by current RI principal Chan Poh Meng, who had said the school now caters largely to the affluent.

Mr Tan stressed that coming from RI did not make someone elitist. "Being a product of a good school does not mean that one has to be an elitist. It all boils down to the person's attitude towards other people," he said. "I am proud to be an RI boy, and even prouder to be a Rafflesian member of the Workers' Party."

SEND MESSAGE TO PAP

Come Sept 11,we must say sorry to the People’s Action Party. Sorry we do not condone bad politics, and sorry we do not condone bullying, and sorry we are voting Workers’ Party .

MR PNG ENG HUAT, WP’s candidate for Hougang SMC, urging voters to support the opposition party

BEING AN MP IS A PRIVILEGE

We need more opposition MPs to push People’s Action Party backbenchers to attend Parliament, take the privilege of being an MP in Parliament seriously and to speak up for Singaporeans. If PAP MPs are more interested in private sector careers and cannot devote their time to Parliament and speaking on Bills, then... give the seat to a WP MP who will take his or her duties seriously.

MR PRITAM SINGH, one of the WP’s Aljunied GRC candidates, on why voters should vote for the party

WHY RALLY VENUE IS SPECIAL

This election, our return here is even more special. First, it is now home ground. Second, the stadium is next to Boundary Road.From here,we can smell Marine Parade.

WP CHAIRMAN SYLVIA LIM, on the significance of speaking at Serangoon Stadium. It is within Aljunied GRC, which the WP won in the 2011 General Election, and near the Marine Parade GRC, which it is contesting

He also made a joke about the similarities between the all-white RI uniform and PAP colours. "Some people asked me why... I did not join the PAP. I often jokingly said that I decided to stop wearing my school uniform when I left Raffles."

Mr Tan said he still tells the junior lawyers on internships that "the day you think you know everything, you would probably have reached your sell-by date".

The past four years spent helping out in Aljunied GRC and the Joo Chiat SMC were also an "enriching and humbling experience" that allowed him to learn more about the people's problems.

Mr Tan promised that if elected, he would "walk the ground, knock the door of every resident, and talk to you, try to get to know you better".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'WP candidates qualified but not elitists: Dennis Tan'. Print Edition | Subscribe