SINGAPORE - A third crop of potential candidates for the Sept 11 general election was unveiled by the Workers' Party (WP) on Friday (Aug 28) afternoon.
Party chairman Sylvia Lim and WP Hougang MP Png Eng Huat introduced the new candidates at the party's Syed Alwi Road headquarters.
They are corporate lawyer He Ting Ru, 32; property agent Ron Tan, 30; polytechnic lecturer L. Somasundaram, 52; and businessman Adrian Sim, 43.
Ms He, who started volunteering with the WP after the general election in 2011, joined the party in 2013. She has been tipped as a potential candidate for Marine Parade GRC.
She said many young people are concerned about the cost of housing and raising children, as well as caring for their parents and grandparents.
"They are also concerned about the Singaporean core being diluted," she added. "Some young Singaporeans no longer dream of a better live for themselves or their children."
Mr Somasundaram joined WP after the 2006 election, and was elected to the party's central executive committee in 2014. He stood in the 2011 election at Moulmein-Kallang GRC.
"I was inspired by the credible candidates WP had put up," he said, adding that he would speak up on immigration issues for the PMETs.
Mr Sim was a WP volunteer for two years before becoming a member. Mr Sim, who said he came from a humble background and had to sell newspapers to help with the family's income, said: "Because I've been through this I understand the struggles."
Mr Tan, the other candidate, started volunteering in Hougang after the 2011 election.
In the last two days, WP has introduced eight new candidates, including sociologist Daniel Goh, 42, lawyer Terence Tan, 44, and sales consultant Cheryl Denise Loh, 32.
The WP has said it will field a record 28 candidates in five group representation constituencies (GRCs) and five single-member constituencies (SMCs).
The GRCs are Aljunied (five members), East Coast (four members), Jalan Besar (four members), Marine Parade (five members) and Nee Soon (five members), while the SMCs are Fengshan, Hougang, MacPherson, Punggol East and Sengkang West.
WP has not revealed where it will field these new faces.
But the party has said their incumbents in the WP-held wards of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East will stay to defend their areas to repay the voters' faith.
The current Aljunied GRC MPs are secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, 58, chairman Sylvia Lim,50; Mr Chen Show Mao, 54; Mr Pritam Singh,39; and Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, 40.
Mr Png is the WP MP for Hougang. Its Punggol East incumbent is Ms Lee Li Lian.
In an interview with The Straits Times on Friday, Ms Lim , the WP chairman, said the party will stick to the plan of fielding its Aljunied GRC MPs in the five-member constituency, after the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) unveiled its team on Friday morning.
"Our plan remains the same, no matter what the PAP does", she said.
The PAP team for Aljunied will be led by four-term MP Yeo Guat Kwang, 54.
The others include the PAP's current Aljunied branch chairmen and all first-time candidates:Mr Victor Lye, 52, in Bedok Reservoir-Punggol; Mr K. Muralidharan Pillai, 47, in Paya Lebar; Mr Chua Eng Leong, 44, in Eunos; and Mr Shamsul Kamar, 43, in Kaki Bukit.
At Friday's press conference, Ms Lim also responded to criticism that Aljunied is not very clean. "We let residents make judgement for themselves."
Mr Png added that there are "dirty spots and clean spots" in HDB estates. "It's impossible to have all."
On the PAP challenge in WP-held wards in the coming election, Ms Lim said: "The PAP is always a formidable opponent. They are the ruling party with a huge party machinery and grassroots network. We will work hard to retain our seats."