3 presidential hopefuls step up preparations for campaign

(From left) Presidential hopefuls Salleh Marican, Halimah Yacob and Farid Khan.
(From left) Presidential hopefuls Salleh Marican, Halimah Yacob and Farid Khan.PHOTOS: ST FILE

Salleh: I'll be independent of any political party or organisation

Presidential hopeful Salleh Marican, 67, says he will be a president who is independent of any political party or organisation.

In a statement after the Writ of Election was issued, the chief executive of Second Chance Properties pledged to guard the nation's reserves with prudence, help the less fortunate, and donate his entire salary to underfunded charities if elected.

Mr Salleh's investment holdings and retail firm had shareholder equity of between $254.3 million and $263.25 million in the past three financial years - below the $500 million threshold set for private sector candidates.

Mr Salleh was initially criticised online for stumbling while speaking Malay after collecting his forms at the ELD in June, and has been taking regular Malay lessons.

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It's always people first in whatever I do: Halimah

People have always come before party colours for presidential hopeful Halimah Yacob, who says that her close ties to the ruling party will not affect her ability to act independently as president.

But as the long-time People's Action Party MP - who left her political and party posts to run in the presidential election and who spent more than two decades in the labour movement before joining politics in 2001 - says: "Whatever I do, it must always be the people first, and the people first, and the people first."

"Every day, we get up, we have to look at ourselves and ask ourselves, who are we serving? I have asked myself that question and I know where my loyalty lies. My loyalty lies with Singapore and Singaporeans, and nothing else."

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Farid confident of getting nod, rolls out videos to woo voters

Businessman Farid Khan says his campaign will be based on the theme "Together we build our nation" and he has listed five issues he would prioritise if elected, which include countering the threat of radicalism by working closely with the Government and other organisations, and building trust among people of different races and religions.

Mr Farid, 61, is of Pakistani descent, a fact that has led some to question whether he can represent the Malay community. He has countered this by saying he speaks Malay, was born in a Malay village in Geylang Serai, practises the Malay culture and worships at Al-Abdul Razak Mosque in Eunos.

On Facebook, he launched a 46-second video titled "Who is Farid Khan?" Eight more videos are in the pipeline. "While I have to admit that I am new to this, I hope I can reach out to as many Singaporeans (as possible), getting to know them and getting them to know me too," he says.

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