SingaporeScene

PAP unveils first new woman candidate for GE

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

The People's Action Party unveiled its first new female candidate for the upcoming General Elections (GE), along with two others.

Ms Foo Mee Har, 45, is the global head of premium banking for Standard Chartered Bank. She graduated with a psychology degree from the University of New South Wales.

Having been with the PAP for more than a year, Ms Foo has taken part in various community events and Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS). She has also been inducted into the Executive Committee as Assistant Secretary to the Women's Wing.

Describing her first MPS session as "wonderful" and a "defining moment", Ms Foo said she was inspired by the members at the Zhenghua branch who paid great attention while listening to the grievances of the residents.

With speculation that Ms Foo is largely tipped to contest under the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, the mother of two sons said that it is the party's decision on where she will be standing as a candidate.

"Where we are deployed is where we are most optimized, and it's up to the party to decide."

The second candidate is executive secretary of NTUC's official youth wing, Young NTUC, Mr Steve Tan Peng Hoe, 38. He is a grassroots volunteer at Tampines East and helps out at Meet-the-People Sessions, among other activities. He also helps to manage the community website, My Tampines.

Mr Desmond Lee Ti-Seng, 35, the final candidate announced, is an Associate Director in the Legal & Regulations Department of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited. He was a Legal Service Officer in the government service before this.

He graduated with a law degree from NUS in 2001, and obtained his Masters at the University of Oxford in 2005.

PAP's renewal process is "structured" and "systematic"

One of the features that set the PAP apart from other political parties is self-driven capacity to renew itself, said Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng.

He described the process as structured and systematic with it being done at various levels, from general membership to leadership. Mr Wong highlighted this point in his opening speech before introducing the new batch of candidates on Wednesday afternoon.

Hailing the process as significant, Mr Wong said, "It keeps the party (PAP) fresh with younger membership and leaders, with new ideas and energy and it connects the party to societal changes."

"That is the difference between us and many countries....we plan, we think ahead, we want to make sure that there is always a team of people available and around (and) with experience who can take Singapore to the next lap."

However, the minister emphasized that although the party continues to evolve, it will still uphold the core values fundamental to Singapore. These are meritocracy, multi-racialism and incorruptibility.

Candidates open for public scrutiny

With six new PAP candidates introduced so far, Mr Wong said that they and those to be introduced in the coming weeks are open for public scrutiny.

The ruling party introduced its first batch of candidates on Monday and is slated to introduce the rest in the next coming weeks. The party said it will be fielding more than 20 new candidates in the coming election.

"We are doing this so that voters can scrutinize, grill them about their motivation and what they will do for the people."

Mr Wong also called on the opposition to unveil their candidates to allow Singaporeans the chance to understand their values and what they can do for the people.

"I hope the opposition parties will also do the same to introduce their candidates now so that all Singaporeans know them and find out what they stand for, and what they can do for the people.

"Otherwise Singaporeans will feel short-changed by the opposition parties' reluctance to reveal more of their candidates and their motivation," he said.

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