Individual seats see fierce contest

Former journalist Suresh Nair (left) and Kumar Appavoo,(right) who ran in the 2015 General Election as a Reform Party candidate, are among 16 men fighting for the six individual council member positions.
Former journalist Suresh Nair (left) and Kumar Appavoo,(right) who ran in the 2015 General Election as a Reform Party candidate, are among 16 men fighting for the six individual council member positions.

The battle for the six individual council member positions also sprang some surprises when the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced that 16 men had thrown their names into the fray for the April 29 polls.

The association revealed that there were four independent candidates in addition to the 12 that came from the two teams headed by Lim Kia Tong and Bill Ng.

The quartet include Edward Liu (chairman of Tanjong Pagar United), Kumar Appavoo, Sebastian Tan and James Lim (former People's Association deputy director and Woodlands Wellington fan).

It is unclear what Tan's background is, while Appavoo contested, and lost, the single-seat Radin Mas constituency in the 2015 General Election as a Reform Party candidate .

Despite the number of candidates fighting for the limited number of seats, businessman Liu remains undaunted.

The 68-year-old said: "On the positive side, this is a good number of people who want to come forward and serve.

"It will be up to the electorate to decide who can really contribute to Singapore football and who are the rabble rousers."

Both teams include vociferous critics of the FAS. Lim's team has former national goalkeeper Yakob Hashim in its ranks while Ng has picked Suresh Nair, 62, a former journalist and a referee instructor, as a member of his camp.

Nair believes the Hougang United chairman has assembled a strong team to fight for all 15 places.

He said: "Bill has got together a multi-talented team. It is a very balanced group of professionals and grassroots people who have been actively walking the ground.

"We believe football is for the people and football leaders must treat all 44 FAS members equally and with respect."

Wang Meng Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'Individual seats see fierce contest'. Print Edition | Subscribe