SINGAPORE — The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has unveiled two former Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) officers, an IP lawyer and a former news publisher among its third batch of candidates running for the upcoming election.
The five candidates introduced on Thursday (25 June) were lawyer Wendy Low, 43; customer service manager Damien Tay Chye Seng, 51; educator Nadarajah Loganathan, 57; businessman Michael Chua, 55; and former publisher Kumaran Pillai, 49, who has been running the ground for Kebun Baru single-member constituency (SMC).
Similar to the way he introduced the previous slate of fresh faces, PSP’s Secretary-General Dr Tan Cheng Bock described this batch as “very ordinary people... they just want to step forward and serve the country”.
Representing a “spread of talent from all walks of life”, the slate will “will bring along with them such experiences from all different sectors”, said Dr Tan.
During the press conference, Kumaran also confirmed he would be contesting in Kebun Baru SMC, adding that he had been walking the ground in the area with volunteers, meeting people and doing door-to-door visits.
Over the past week, Dr Tan has introduced 17 candidates in three batches, with more expected in the coming days.
The 12 candidates announced previously over two batches were: Francis Yuen Kin Pheng, 70; Gigene Wong, 54’ party vice-chairman Hazel Poa, 50; Sri Nallakaruppan, 56; Bradley Bowyer, 53; Muhammad Taufik Supan, 40; Dr Tan Meng Wah, 57; Kayla Low; 43, A’bas Kasmani, 67; Choo Shaun Ming, 23; Dr Ang Yong Guan, 65; and Harish Pillay, 60.
Nadarajah Loganathan, 57
Loganathan volunteered with Dr Tan’s team when the latter was a Member of Parliament with then-Ayer Rajah SMC under the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Loganathan served in the Singapore Armed Forces for 25 years before retiring in February 2009 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He held human resource appointments and training positions while in the army. He is now an adult educator.
He said, “Current leaders are looking at GDP, GDP and GDP. So, why I joined Dr Tan is because of his value system. He has a compassion for people, which I saw in him from the year 2003, when I got to know him.”
Kumaran Pillai, 49
Kumaran currently advises startups in South East Asia and manages a portfolio of startup companies. He is currently a chief executive officer at Apple Seed, and was formerly the publisher of The Independent News, Singapore until he left to join politics.
He said, “I said, I've been commenting and writing about politics for close to seven years, and I've been championing a lot of issues. One of the things Dr Tan said was, you know, writing and championing alone is not enough. You need to take the fight (to) Parliament. And that sort of motivated me.”
Wendy Low, 43
Low leads the IP advisory and dispute practice of law firm Eldan Law. She said of her role, “Behind the use of technology, there is actually a lot of blind spots. When it comes to legal issues, when it comes to branding issues, when it comes to intellectual property rights issues where I know a lot of SMEs and startups are struggling to catch up. Simply, sometimes because of the lack of funding or occasionally because of the lack of awareness... (that’s) where I hope to build that bridge in that dialogue... to give more public outreach.”
She added, “I believe that law comes with a very unique predisposition, and it’s almost an occupational hazard... we are constantly thinking about the injustices of the world. And especially as a dispute lawyer, and sometimes even (in) my quarrels with my husband, it's always a conversation about the unfairness of a situation. So, where I see that has led me... is a constant inquiry, a constant question of where society has let down certain classes of people in Singapore.”
Damien Tay Chye Seng, 51
Tay is currently a customer service manager with 30 years of commercial operations experience in the electronics, retail and medical industries.
He said, “I think fear is a very strong word in Singapore. And if we can overcome this fear, we can definitely do much, much more for Singapore and as Professor Tommy Koh (said), you can always be loving critics. Well, that's why we're here today. We are here today because we love Singapore. And we're here today to make Singapore a better place.”
Michael Chua, 55
Chua was awarded the Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship in 1985 and attended the London School of Economics. He was later given the Defence Technology Training Award and he pursued a Masters degree in 1993. He left the service in 2002.
He is now running his own business in environmental cleaning products. Said Chua, “There was this sense that the country was heading in the wrong direction and urgent corrective actions need to be taken, various ideas to propose, and Dr Tan himself thought that he could advise and guide the other political parties, so that they can have more traction with Singaporeans, and create a real option for the country.”
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