Singapore GE: PSP unveils six more candidates, scales back list of constituencies it intends to contest

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Choo Shaun Ming, Dr Tan Meng Wah, Mr Abas Kasmani, Ms Kayla Low, Mr Harish Pillay and Dr Ang Yong Guan. PHOTOS: PROGRESS SINGAPORE PARTY

SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is now set to contest nine constituencies at the next election, fielding 24 candidates instead of the 44 it initially announced.

The party had earlier trimmed the list to 29, saying it was giving up some seats after discussions with other opposition parties in order to avoid three-cornered fights.

On Tuesday (June 23), party chief Tan Cheng Bock, 80, revealed during a virtual Zoom meeting that the PSP intends to contest two five-seat GRCs, West Coast and Tanjong Pagar, the four-seat Chua Chu Kang GRC, as well as five single-seat constituencies - Hong Kah North, Pioneer and the newly formed Marymount, Yio Chu Kang and Kebun Baru SMCs.

While the former PAP MP and 2011 presidential election candidate did not mention the five-seat Nee Soon GRC, he and several PSP members turned up in Chong Pang to meet residents on Sunday, and he later said the party was considering contesting the ward.

Dr Tan said on Tuesday: "We select the areas we want to contest based on whether we can win and there are certain places I'm quite familiar with. For example, I have been a doctor in the western side (of Singapore), I was a Member of Parliament in the western side, so we concentrate on the western side."

He added: "Of course on Nomination Day, things change. Politics is very fluid so we will study all these places more carefully."

On Tuesday, Dr Tan also unveiled six more candidates for the coming election, including another five who will be standing in their first polls.

This comes after the party introduced its first slate of six candidates last Thursday and conducted walkabouts in several constituencies over the weekend.

"My party is not a one-man party, it is not just a one-constituency party... The party will back every member. So everywhere we go, we are a team" said Dr Tan.

The six new candidates are:

- Mr Choo Shaun Ming, 23, a National University of Singapore (NUS) law student who is the PSP's youngest candidate so far and could be the youngest to be fielded in this election;

- Dr Tan Meng Wah, 57, an academic and former research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, whose research interests include income inequality and public housing;

- Mr Abas Kasmani, 67, a business consultant and senior trainer;

- Ms Kayla Low, 43, a chartered accountant and chief operating officer and chief financial officer of a group of 11 companies. She was also a former prisons officer and volunteers with low-income families and the elderly in her spare time;

- Mr Harish Pillay, 60, global head of community architecture and leadership at software firm Red Hat; and

- Dr Ang Yong Guan, 65, a psychiatrist who stood in the 2011 election as a Singapore Democratic Party candidate, and under Singaporeans First party in 2015 as its chairman.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock did not indicate where the candidates will stand in the coming polls, but Mr Abas is one of two names tipped to take the final slot in Dr Tan's five-man team in West Coast, and has been featured in fliers distributed in the constituency.

Meanwhile, Dr Ang was seen at Shunfu Mart Food Centre in Marymount SMC on Sunday, and Dr Tan Meng Wah and Mr Choo were both present at PSP's walkabout in Teck Whye Lane, which is part of Chua Chu Kang GRC.

Dr Tan Meng Wah later put up publicity material on Facebook featuring himself, Mr Choo and two PSP central executive committee members - former air force colonel Francis Yuen, 70, and engineer Abdul Rahman Mohamad, who is yet to be formally unveiled as a candidate. Mr Abdul Rahman was part of the Singapore Democratic Alliance team that contested Tampines GRC in 2006.

Ms Low was one of several party members who joined Dr Tan Cheng Bock last Friday when he had breakfast and spoke to the media at Mayflower Market and Food Centre in Kebun Baru. Dr Tan Cheng Bock did not say then who would be fielded there.

When asked about whether his youth, Mr Choo said he did not see it as a disadvantage.

Citing Scottish National Party MP Mhairi Black who was elected at age 20 and Emirati politician, Ms Shamma Al Mazrui, who was made a Cabinet minister at age 22, Mr Choo said: "Young people all over the world have shown that they can make a difference. So it is not about age.

"My hope is that other young people will see themselves being represented, that they know that their opinion matters... Because the younger generation will be the ones that decide what Singapore looks like in the next 30 years."

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