Singapore GE2020: PAP new face Yip Hon Weng takes on PSP newbie in Yio Chu Kang SMC

PAP candidate Yip Hon Weng (left) is up against PSP's Kayla Low in Yio Chu Kang SMC. PHOTOS: PEOPLE'S ACTION PARTY, PROGRESS SINGAPORE PARTY

SINGAPORE - First-time candidates from the opposition Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will go head to head in Yio Chu Kang SMC.

A three-cornered fight was averted when the Reform Party (RP) did not field a candidate for the single seat, which has 26,005 voters.

The PAP candidate is Mr Yip Hon Weng, 43, the former group chief of the Silver Generation Office under the Agency for Integrated Care. The AIC serves seniors and their caregivers.

He is up against PSP's Kayla Low, 43, a chartered accountant and former prisons officer. She also volunteers with low-income families and the elderly.

Speaking to reporters after nomination papers were filed on Tuesday (June 30) morning, Mr Yip said he will listen to residents' cares, needs and concerns, and hopes to win their support.

He has been walking the ground in Yio Chu Kang ward for the past few months, he said, adding: "My next immediate priority is to meet up with everyone to see how best to improve the living environment in Yio Chu Kang, as well as to improve and build up the community spirit"

Ms Low's priorities are to help the ward's elderly residents, especially with their mental well-being, and to address issues of cleanliness.

Yio Chu Kang SMC was carved out of Ang Mo Kio GRC, which RP contested in the past two elections in 2011 and 2015.

The area has been in and out of the GRC. In 1991, it became part of Ang Mo Kio GRC, but was carved out in 2006. Then in 2011, it rejoined Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Since 2015, the PAP MP for the area has been Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon. He has now moved to join the PAP's Tampines GRC team.

Mr Yip is not the first PAP new face to be fielded in an SMC. In 2015, then-PAP new face Cheryl Chan stood in Fengshan SMC and won the seat with 57.5 per cent of the votes, against Mr Dennis Tan of the Workers' Party.

In this campaign, the PAP is fielding two first-timers in SMCs - Mr Yip and Ms Gan Siow Huang, 46, a former brigadier-general in the Republic of Singapore Air Force, who will stand in Marymount SMC.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.