Singapore GE2020: Two new faces in PAP's Sembawang GRC team, led by Ong Ye Kung

The People's Action Party's Sembawang GRC team features (clockwise from top left) incumbents Ong Ye Kung, Lim Wee Kiak and Vikram Nair, and new candidates Mariam Jaafar and Poh Li San. PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, KUA CHEE SIONG, PEOPLE'S ACTION PARTY

SINGAPORE - Two new women candidates from the People's Action Party (PAP) are set to be fielded in Sembawang GRC for the general election on July 10.

They are Ms Poh Li San, Changi Airport Group's vice-president for Terminal 5 Planning, and Ms Mariam Jaafar, Singapore managing director and partner at the Boston Consulting Group.

The two new faces were featured in a video posted by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Saturday (June 27 ) that paid tribute to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who is retiring from politics. Mr Khaw has anchored Sembawang GRC for 14 years.

In his post, Mr Ong said the Sembawang GRC slate was a five-man team when he joined in 2015.

"When the team was introduced publicly, Mr Khaw Boon Wan described it as the 'boy band'. Our lead singer has retired, and we have inducted two new lady candidates. We now look more like ABBA..+1," he said, referring to the Swedish pop group.

"We share the belief that Sembawang can be a very special place in Singapore, and must build upon the achievements of our predecessors," he wrote.

Ms Poh, 44, a former helicopter pilot with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), is set to replace Mr Khaw in his Sembawang ward.

Ms Mariam, 43, is likely to replace Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin in his Woodlands ward.

Mr Amrin is tipped to move to the new Sengkang GRC, to complete the four-man PAP slate that includes labour chief Ng Chee Meng, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min and lawyer Raymond Lye.

The new line-up for Sembawang GRC would then comprise Mr Ong, Ms Poh, Ms Mariam, lawyer Vikram Nair and ophthalmologist Lim Wee Kiak.

They are set to face off against the National Solidarity Party (NSP), which contested the constituency in the 2015 election. NSP secretary-general Spencer Ng said he will be leading the party's Sembawang team.

In 2015, the PAP team won 72.28 per cent of the vote against the NSP team formed by Mr Ng, Mr Eugene Yeo, Ms Kevryn Lim, Mr Yadzeth Haris and Mr Abdul Rasheed.

Ms Poh and Ms Mariam were officially introduced by the party last week. The former is vice-chairman of the Sembawang Citizens' Consultative Committee, while the latter is vice-chairman of the Woodlands Community Club management committee.

Ms Poh believes women should have greater access to more opportunities and leadership roles at the workplace, especially in the emerging sectors and in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) industries.

Ms Mariam, who grew up in a one-room rental flat, said she hopes to help others and preserve the social mobility that she had enjoyed.

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