NTUC youth wing leader drops out from GE race

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SingaporeScene

UPDATE

New PAP candidates, from left: Mr Steve Tan Peng Hoe, Ms Foo Mee Har, Mr Desmond Lee Ti-Seng. (Yahoo! photo)

Rumours are making its rounds as to why a People's Action Party candidate withdrew last minute from running in Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

Mr Tan said he had been discussing with his wife and cited "personal reasons".

Speculations were posted on an online forum, saying that two woman working at the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) umbrella union were sexually harassed by Steve Tan. The poster is an ex-colleague and mentioned that there were others who had similar experiences and they were all unreported and undisclosed.

It is also speculated that letters were sent to the Prime Minister's Office to complain about the sexual harassment cases.

Mr Tan said that he "has not heard about the speculations and think that people are starting it because of the short notice of the withdrawal."

When asked if he will continue to conduct activities under the PAP banner, Mr Tan has said that he has no comments for that. He will continue his work and daily life.

The vacancy was filled up last minute by Baey Yam Keng, previously running for Tanjong Pagar GRC that was announced to be a walkover on Wednesday.

"I was informed just yesterday, on Tuesday evening. I did a quick drive through last night and looked around the town. The profile of the residents here are different from Queenstown and Tanjong Pagar," said Mr Baey.

He also added that he hopes to be given a chance to serve the Tampines community.

Young NTUC executive secretary Steve Tan said on Wednesday morning that he has dropped plans to run for a seat in Parliament.

"It's a personal decision, and a hard one," said the 37-year-old unionist, who was one of the new candidates presented by the People's Action Party, according to The Straits Times.

Tan was supposed to be fielded in the Tampines group representation constituency (GRC), taking over from outgoing MP Ong Kian Min.

PAP Member of Parliament Baey Yam Keng, who was supposed to run for the party's Tanjong Pagar GRC slate, has replaced Tan as the party's candidate for Tampines GRC.

Replacing Baey, in turn, is Singapore General Hospital doctor Chia Shi Lu, who has worked on the grassroots level in Aljunied and Hougang.

Tan is a grassroots volunteer at Tampines East and helps out at Meet-the-People Sessions, among other activities. A business graduate of the Nanyang Technological University, he also helps to manage the community website, My Tampines.

When he was introduced as a PAP candidate last month, he said that he sees being an "ordinary guy" as a strength.

"When I'm doing my union work, this is one aspect I love: I hang out at the same places and do the same things as my workers... we eat roti prata at Jalan Kayu together," he said. "It will make it easier for me to relate to voters."

Meanwhile, on Thursday, independent candidate Andrew Kuan said he would not be contesting for the General Election, leaving the Joo Chiat single member constituency as a straight fight between the PAP and the Workers' Party.

He made his decision after realising that the WP was adamant about contesting the ward, and that a three-cornered fight would benefit the PAP.

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