Constituency close up: Marine Parade GRC

WP's Yee: My team will run town council

Workers' Party's Marine Parade GRC team (from left) Dylan Ng, He Ting Ru, Yee Jenn Jong, Firuz Khan and Terence Tan.
Workers' Party's Marine Parade GRC team (from left) Dylan Ng, He Ting Ru, Yee Jenn Jong, Firuz Khan and Terence Tan.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

If elected, the Workers' Party (WP) candidates for Marine Parade GRC will run the town council without a managing agent, said team leader Yee Jenn Jong. He also pledged to be a full-time MP, at least until municipal operations have stabilised.

"I took great pains to make sure that if we have to take over and run a town council, we will have a very operational team. So I have people who have been doing start-up operations, because literally this is what we have to do," he said.

Mr Yee, 50, pointed to the experience of his team comprising lawyer Terence Tan, 44; chocolate factory owner Firuz Khan, 48; corporate lawyer He Ting Ru, 32; and wealth manager Dylan Ng, 40, in building companies and corporate departments "from scratch".

For instance, Mr Ng started the wealth management arm at RHB Bank as "employee No. 1 in the whole department" and secured the necessary legal clearance to start operations.

Mr Firuz started a chocolate factory in Wales and put in place a system so that he could run it remotely while in Singapore, while Mr Tan began a few restaurants and pubs overseas. Ms He heads the legal department of a listed company at a young age and "that speaks volumes of her ability", Mr Yee said. He added that he would be able to focus on the duties of an MP by setting aside his businesses for the time being as he has people in place to run them without him.

The WP also has seven elected MPs now with experience in running town councils who will be able to advise them, he said. But Mr Yee was also quick to add: "I'm not underestimating the challenge; we just have to clear whatever obstacles that come along."

In the first half of campaigning for this polls, People's Action Party leaders have been accusing the WP of lapses in its running of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

However, Mr Yee said residents he met on house visits do not often question him about the issue.

"There are a lot who said that we understand what is happening. We understand what the ruling party is trying to portray and we're not swayed by it," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline 'WP's Yee: My team will run town council'. Print Edition | Subscribe