Singapore GE2020: Profiles of Peoples Voice's new candidates

Peoples Voice new candidates, Mr Prabu Ramachandran and Mr Micheal Fang.
Peoples Voice new candidates, Mr Prabu Ramachandran and Mr Micheal Fang.PHOTOS: PEOPLES VOICE, ST FILE
(Clockwise from top left) People's Voice candidates Sivakumaran Chellappa, Jireh (Simon) Lim Kay Cheow, Mohamed Nassir Ismail and Nor Azlan Sulaiman.
(Clockwise from top left) People's Voice candidates Sivakumaran Chellappa, Jireh (Simon) Lim Kay Cheow, Mohamed Nassir Ismail and Nor Azlan Sulaiman.PHOTOS: PEOPLE'S VOICE
Mr Leong Sze Hian and Ms Vigneswari V. Ramachandran are part of the Peoples Voice party teams contesting Jalan Besar GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC respectively.
Mr Leong Sze Hian and Ms Vigneswari V. Ramachandran are part of the Peoples Voice party teams contesting Jalan Besar GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC respectively. PHOTOS: PEOPLES VOICE

SINGAPORE - The Peoples Voice (PV) party has started to introduce its slate of candidates online.

On Wednesday (July 1), it posted videos of two of its 10 candidates, with the rest to follow in the days ahead, said the party, which is contesting two group representation constituencies and one SMC.


Here's a look at the candidates' profiles:

LEONG SZE HIAN, 66

Financial adviser


PHOTO: PEOPLES VOICE

Mr Leong told The Straits Times that he had spent the last 20 years analysing Singapore's policies and data points, and writing about them on his personal blog.

He said he agreed to join the PV party readily when he was approached by party chief Lim Tean, who had defended him when he was sued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation in 2018.

In his introductory video, Mr Leong said that he had seen many people in Singapore struggling to make ends meet. He also criticised the Government for calling the election amid the coronavirus pandemic, and wanted it to give figures daily of the number of people who were tested.

He added that he had been chairman and president of four professional bodies, including a non-governmental organisation.

"My experience, I hope, can help to bring more transparency and accountability in Parliament."

VIGNESWARI V. RAMACHANDRAN, 38

Pre-school teacher


PHOTO: PEOPLES VOICE

Having been a pre-school teacher for 12 years, Ms Vigneswari, 38, said she has witnessed how stressful the Singapore education system is.

If elected, she will fight for change for Singaporeans, she said in her video.

"I will speak up on the costly childcare fees, and the rising cost of living. I will help you with your issues to the best of my abilities," she added.

She said the challenges and difficulties faced by ordinary Singaporeans often go unnoticed by an "elitist" People's Action Party.

But the Peoples Voice party "puts you, your family and your generations to come first", she added.

"When we have alternative voices in Parliament, we will have more social justice and accountability," she said.

SIVAKUMARAN CHELLAPPA, 57

Educator


PHOTO: PEOPLE'S VOICE

Mr Chellappa believes that there are many issues that need to be addressed in Singapore, including job-related problems and "excessive population growth".

If elected, he said he will see to it that all Singaporeans can have a fair share of the fruits of the economy.

"The economy of the country belongs to the people, and not to any specific group or individual of this country," said Mr Chellappa in his introductory video.

He also emphasised that MPs have a duty to the people.

"A Member of Parliament must bear in mind that he is there to represent the interests and aspirations of the people, and not the other way around."

JIREH (SIMON) LIM KAY CHEOW, 61

Blogger


PHOTO: PEOPLE'S VOICE

Having weathered Singapore's first post-independence recession in 1985, Mr Lim said he has learnt from such hardships and can put his experience to use as an MP.

The blogger was in the media publishing industry at the time. Like many other businesses, his company had to call it quits because of the economic downturn.

"From that experience, I've learnt a lot of things. You learn from success but you learn a lot more from failures," he said in his introductory video.

He joined Peoples Voice because he believes the party's chief, Mr Lim Tean, is not afraid to take firm positions in controversial circumstances.

He said he will champion the interests of low-wage workers, and will fight to introduce a living wage.

MOHAMED NASSIR ISMAIL, 63

Freelance economics lecturer


PHOTO: PEOPLE'S VOICE

Mr Mohamed Nassir regards himself as a true son of Singapore. He is, after all, a descendant of the Orang Laut, sea nomads who lived on this island well before Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived in 1819.

The lecturer joined the party as he believes it will represent the "voices of the people".

In his introductory video, he said MPs must be able to listen, understand and take the concerns of residents to Parliament.

However, he said, the People's Action Party's MPs have sometimes worked, instead, for their party's benefit and agenda.

He said the Peoples Voice party will bring change to Parliament. "Let's make Singapore our home again," he added.

NOR AZLAN SULAIMAN, 48

Business owner


PHOTO: PEOPLE'S VOICE

Mr Nor Azlan said he was inspired to enter politics as he wants to improve the employment situation for Singaporeans, having himself experienced how difficult it is to get jobs here.

The married father of three runs his own halal consultancy business. When business was slow, he tried to find alternative employment, but could not secure another job even with a master's degree in business administration.

He said he will bring up in Parliament the issue of jobs and the rising cost of living, if elected. He added that he will be the voice of ordinary Singaporeans.

"With a strong opposition in Parliament, your voices will be prioritised, we will fight for your interests," he said in his introductory video.

PRABU RAMACHANDRAN, 32

Business financial manager


PHOTO: PEOPLES VOICE

Mr Prabu said he joined the Peoples Voice, as he believes the party is for the man in the street.

If elected to Parliament, Mr Prabu said he and his party will fight to "put people first".

The party will advocate for Singaporeans to take control of their Central Provident Fund monies when they turn 55, and "not have the government of the day make that decision for them".

In his introductory video, Mr Prabu also said that the party will push for Singaporeans to have "First World wages, to keep up with a First World cost of living".

"Singapore will be a more accountable and balanced place... with more alternative voices in Parliament," added Mr Prabu.

MICHAEL FANG, 43

Medical administrator and entrepreneur


ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Mr Fang said he has legally changed his Chinese name to "Ai Min", which loosely translates to "love the people", to reflect his dedication to the nation.

He got involved in politics last year, joining the Progress Singapore Party's policy team. He then moved to help the Red Dot United team, before settling into the Peoples Voice party a month ago.

He added that it does not matter which party he is in, as he is a "true believer in democracy" and is willing to share his ideas with any party.

The bachelor said he will fight to address the inequality gap in Singapore, propose alternative economic growth policies and look into improving the well-being of Singaporeans. He holds a medical degree, but does not practise.