GE2020: Ex-PA chief among PAP's first 4 new candidates introduced

People's Action Party (PAP) first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat (centre) with the party's new candidates for the GE (from left) Ivan Lim, Nadia Samdin, Edward Chia and Desmond Tan. (Photo: PAP)
People's Action Party (PAP) first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat (centre) with the party's new candidates for the GE (from left) Ivan Lim, 42, Nadia Samdin, 30, Edward Chia, 36, and Desmond Tan, 50. (Photo: PAP)

SINGAPORE — The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) introduced its first slate of four candidates at a virtual press conference on Wednesday (24 June), ahead of the General Election on 10 July.

The four are: former People’s Association (PA) chief executive Desmond Tan, 50; Timbre Group co-founder and managing director Edward Chia, 36; Keppel Offshore & Marine general manager Ivan Lim, 42; and lawyer Nadia Samdin, 30.

In a press statement, the party said it will unveil 26 new candidates over three days. They have a median age of 43, with the youngest at 30 and oldest at 56.

“Candidates are also from a diverse range of backgrounds, with Singaporeans from the private sector as well as public service. The party took significant effort to bring in more women candidates, with 10 in the line-up this year,” the statement added.

Desmond Tan Kok Ming, 50

Tan attended Queenstown Secondary Technical school and Raffles Junior College. He was awarded the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Merit Scholarship and graduated with first class honours in aeronautical engineering from Victoria University of Manchester in 1994.

He served with the armed forces for 28 years, rising to the rank of brigadier-general, and held key appointments including Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment, Commander of 3rd Singapore Infantry Brigade, Chief Guards Officer and Director of Joint Operations. He was also public affairs director with the defence ministry.

Tan organised several National Day Parades, was deployed to Afghanistan, and was also involved in coordinating SAF’s contribution to disaster operations in the Philippines, Nepal and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

The father of three is interested in issues relating to social mobility – helping children from low-income families to have a chance to succeed in life.

Desmond Tan, 50 (Photo: PAP)
Desmond Tan, 50 (Photo: PAP)

Edward Chia Bing Hui, 36

Chia went to National Junior College and the National University of Singapore, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in economics and political science.

At age 21 and while still an undergraduate, he co-founded Timbre, a bar-restaurant, wanting to develop Singapore’s music scene by cultivating the talent of local musicians and growing sustainable audiences for them. He became the managing director of Timbre Group two years later.

The father of one wants to focus on young families, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), innovation, entrepreneurship and mental wellness.

Edward Chia, 36 (Photo: PAP)
Edward Chia, 36 (Photo: PAP)

Ivan Lim Shaw Chua, 42

Lim joined Keppel Shipyard after his GCE ‘O’ Levels and was awarded a scholarship by Keppel Shipyard to pursue a diploma in marine engineering at Singapore Polytechnic. He later obtained a Master of Engineering in marine engineering from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, graduating with first class honours.

He currently manages specialised vessels for his company.

The father of four has been volunteering at Henderson-Dawson constituency over the past year. He wants to help elderly residents and children who have disadvantages, especially those with special needs, and support parents who must juggle between work and family. He is also interested in climate change and sustainability issues.

Ivan Lim, 42 (Photo: PAP)
Ivan Lim, 42 (Photo: PAP)

Nadia Ahmad Samdin, 30

Nadia attended CHIJ Katong Convent and Victoria Junior College. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Singapore Management University.

The associate director with TSMP Law Corporation was formerly a current affairs producer with Channel NewsAsia.

She has been active in community service for the last 15 years and is active in the Malay-Muslim community. She initiated a programme where volunteers meet underserved students monthly to check on their well-being and top-up their EZ-Link cards to prevent absenteeism. She is also a panel advisor in the Youth Court and befriends young women sentenced to Reformative Training.

Nadia is married with no children. She wants to reach out to those who face social isolation and loneliness and help them lead more meaningful lives. She also wants to empower youths, particularly those from troubled backgrounds. As a recreational diver, she is passionate about ocean conservation and the environment.

Nadia Samdin, 30 (Photo: PAP)
Nadia Samdin, 30 (Photo: PAP)

Follow Yahoo News Singapore’s GE2020 coverage here.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at

Related stories

GE2020: Lee Hsien Yang joins PSP but unclear if he will run for GE

GE2020: Bread-and-butter issues to dominate more than ever amid COVID-19 – analysts

GE2020: Worker's Party unveils 12 presumed candidates, including Nicole Seah but no Low

GE 2020: This GE is 'like no other', Singaporeans must be 'completely united' – PM Lee