SINGAPORE - A business owner is among three new faces that the National Solidarity Party (NSP) plans to field in the upcoming general election.
One of them, Mr Sathin Ravindran, 27, who runs a business providing car detailing services, took part in a walkabout at Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre in Sembawang GRC on Sunday (June 28).
The party intends to field two other new faces in Tampines GRC, the other constituency it is contesting.
The Straits Times understands that the NSP slate for Sembawang includes party secretary-general Spencer Ng, treasurer Ivan Yeo Tiong Boon and members Sebastian Teo and Yadzeth Hairis. Mr Ng and Mr Yadzeth ran in Sembawang GRC in 2015.
The NSP team will be facing the incumbent People's Action Party team led by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung. Other members of the team are Mr Vikram Nair, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and new faces Ms Poh Li San and Ms Mariam Jaafar.
Mr Ng told reporters during the walkabout that having more opposition members in Parliament sends a signal to the PAP not to take its popularity for granted.
For example, the PAP started listening more attentively to Singaporeans after the 2011 GE when it lost Aljunied GRC to the Workers' Party, Mr Ng said.
But that changed in 2015 when PAP gained more favour with the people, he added. The PAP increased its vote share to 69.9 per cent in the last election, up from 60.1 per cent in 2011.
Mr Ng said this led to poor management of the Covid-19 pandemic, citing the Government's U-turn on whether residents should wear masks and delayed interventions to prevent the coronavirus spread in foreign workers' dormitories.
He said: "Alternative voices, opposition voices, are very important. If opposition parties are not present in Parliament, the PAP will not take us seriously."
Issues that the NSP will champion include the abolishment of the goods and services tax (GST) for essential items, making housing more affordable and allowing Singaporeans to withdraw from the Central Provident Fund accounts at a younger age.
Assistant secretary-general Kevryn Lim said the party will formally introduce its candidates and manifesto early next week.
In GE2015, PAP won Sembawang with 72.28 per cent of the vote against the NSP.