SINGAPORE - Labour chief Chan Chun Sing introduced two new faces to his five-member Tanjong Pagar Group Representative Constituency (GRC) team on Wednesday (Aug 19).
At a press conference in a coffeeshop at Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Mr Chan also announced that Mr Sam Tan, 56, will defend his seat in Radin Mas Single Member Constituency (SMC).
The new faces are former public servant Joan Pereira, 48, and retired senior police officer Melvin Yong, 43, who will join Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah and backbencher Chia Shi-Lu in contesting the next general election.
Ms Pereira, currently the assistant general manager at Temasek Cares, fills the seat vacated by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
She was first mooted as a potential candidate a couple of days after the release of the electoral boundaries report on July 24, although the mother of two has been shadowing Ms Indranee in her Tanglin-Cairnhill ward since May.
"I believe strongly in the people-private-public sector partnership and want to build on this to create meaningful social programmes in Tanjong Pagar," Ms Pereira said. She also spoke in Mandarin.
Ms Pereira, who is married with two grown-up children, said she would like to champion the formation of networks among residents so that they can look after one another.
"This is what I believe in, putting residents at (the) centre of what we do and I hope to continue building on this to work with residents and come up with meaningful programmes."
Meanwhile, Mr Yong - who officially stepped down from his role as the Assistant Commissioner of Police on Aug 16 - takes over the seat currently held by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.
The bulk of Mr Lui's Moulmein ward, which falls under the soon-to-be-defunct Moulmein-Kallang GRC, will be absorbed by Tanjong Pagar GRC. Mr Lui last week announced his decision to leave politics.
"This is a very special GRC, it was helmed by Mr Lee Kuan Yew for a very long time. I was born in the 1970s and have benefited from the many programmes and social schemes he has put in place," Mr Yong said.
"In my 20 years as a police officer and over a decade as a grassroots volunteer in Pasir Ris-Punggol, I had the opportunity to interact with many MPs. They have this deep dedication and commitment to making Singapore a safe and better place," he added.
Mr Yong is married with two children.
Four-term MP Lily Neo had earlier announced her departure from the Tanjong Pagar team, as her Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward has been redrawn under Jalan Besar GRC.
Under the late Mr Lee's leadership, Tanjong Pagar has never been contested since its formation in 1991.
The team's maiden baptism of fire will come from the fledgling Singaporeans First party, led by 2011 presidential candidate Tan Jee Say.
"There will never be a society where all views are the same. But the job of a good leadership team is that it must understand different perspectives from different parts of society. And to do that, we must keep our feet firmly on the ground," says Mr Chan.
"We hope we can get the strongest mandate possible in Tanjong Pagar and Radin Mas so that our children can fulfil their dreams in this land of ours," he added.