Singapore GE2020: Lee Bee Wah retiring from politics

Ms Lee Bee Wah (second from left) will be ceding her place in Nee Soon GRC to new face Carrie Tan (left). PHOTO: LEE BEE WAH/ FACEBOOK
Mr Henry Kwek had been in charge of Kebun Baru ward since 2015. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Three-term Nee Soon South MP Lee Bee Wah announced her retirement from politics on Monday (June 29), saying it is part of the renewal process of the People's Action Party (PAP).

She will be ceding her place in Nee Soon GRC to new face Carrie Tan, 38, the founder of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow.

"As part of the party renewal process, I am glad that a much younger candidate has been fielded," said Ms Lee, 59.

Mr Derrick Goh, 51, managing director and head of group audit at DBS Bank, is expected to complete the PAP's Nee Soon slate in the polls on July 10.

First-term PAP MP Henry Kwek, who was with the same GRC team, will be standing in the single seat of Kebun Baru, where he is set to face off against Progress Singapore Party candidate Kumaran Pillai. This was announced by Mr Kwek in a Facebook post on Monday.

Kebun Baru had been part of Nee Soon GRC at the general election in 2015, and has been carved out as a single seat for the July 10 election. Mr Kwek had been in charge of Kebun Baru ward since 2015.

Mr Kwek, the executive director of an investment, trading and management consulting company, said on Facebook that he had worked with residents to improve the estate and build a more caring community. For instance, hundreds had volunteered to help launch more than 30 community projects within the last three years to help those in need.

He said that he would work hard to win residents' support. "If you elect me as your MP, I will do my best to serve you, and together with you, make Kebun Baru a better place to live," he added.

Kebun Baru has 22,653 voters. Two in five residents in the ward are Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors, and it has traditionally been a PAP stronghold, consistently scoring above the national and GRC average over the past few elections. Before Mr Kwek took over, it was helmed by former PAP MP Inderjit Singh for four terms as part of Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Meanwhile, the PSP's Mr Pillai, 57, told reporters on Sunday that he had been active on the ground in Kebun Baru over the past few weeks and gathered feedback from residents on various issues. These include issues such as financial help for hawkers hit by the Covid-19 situation, and elderly friendly amenities in the neighbourhood.

Mr Pillai, who runs a consultancy to develop start-ups, said: "We know what the issues are on the ground."

The Democratic Progressive Party dropped out of the race for Kebun Baru to avoid a three-cornered fight.

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