The candidates: Opposition

Children 'should enjoy the learning process'

SDP's Ms Jaslyn Go Hui Leng.
SDP's Ms Jaslyn Go Hui Leng.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Jaslyn Go Hui Leng, 43

Occupation: Sales director in a construction firm she started with her husband

Family: Married with two children - a 10-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son

Education: Certificate in early childhood education from MMI International; diploma in sales and marketing from Thames Business School

Hobbies: Doing activities with her children

Why politics?

What drew me to SDP back then (in 2007) was because they were speaking on the rising cost of living in Singapore, which was something I felt very strongly about as a new mother. I worry for my children - how are they going to afford an HDB flat and pay for a decent house? They will have to compete not just for a place in school with non-Singaporeans, but also for job opportunities. These were my concerns back then, and the SDP was speaking up on these issues. That drew me to the party.

Why you?

Mine is a rough-and-tumble story. At the age of 12, I started working to earn my own keep. During the school holidays, I would travel all the way from where I lived in Bukit Merah to Paya Lebar just to make $5 a day at a garment factory. This $5 a day actually helped me through school, to buy books, pay for my school fees...

For my generation, we are still able to make it without the paper chase. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the younger generation as there is an overemphasis on paper qualifications. In addition, we now have to compete with non-Singaporeans for a place in school and at work. We need to amend our immigration policy.

What issues will you focus on?

As a mother of two, I feel very, very strongly about our education policies. Day in, day out, I witness children, not just my own, but my neighbours' children and my kids' classmates, and parents, sharing the same experience.

The education system in Singapore is really very stressful.

I want our kids to grow up in an environment where they enjoy the process of learning.

Favourite spot in Singapore?

The Venezio condominium, a little kampung I call home, where neighbours are like family.

Pearl Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Children 'should enjoy the learning process''. Print Edition | Subscribe