GE2020: PAP unveils Singapore's first woman general among 4 new candidates

PAP vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli (centre) unveils four new party candidates for the upcoming General Election: (from left) Alex Yeo, Sharael Taha, Gan Siow Huang and Rachel Ong. (PHOTO: PAP)

SINGAPORE – The People’s Action Party (PAP) introduced four more new candidates on Friday (26 June) morning, bringing the total number of newbies unveiled to 23.

Introduced by the party’s vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli, they are: Gan Siow Huang, 46, deputy chief executive officer of e2i and Singapore’s first woman general; Rachel Ong Sin Yen, 47, chief executive of ROHEI Corporation; Sharael Taha, 39, vice-president (strategy and project management office) of Rolls Royce; and Alex Yeo Sheng Chye, 41, director at Niru & Co.

Gan Siow Huang

New People's Action Party candidate Gan Siow Huang, 46, was the Singapore Armed Forces' first female general. PHOTO: People's Action Party

Gan began her career as an air traffic controller and was among the first four women to receive the SAF Merit Scholarship in 1993. She rose through the ranks to command the four airbases (Tengah, Sembawang, Paya Lebar and Changi) under Air Power Generation Command, the largest formation in the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

A mother of three girls, Gan has been volunteering with the Girl Guides Singapore for more than seven years, to help girls and young women fulfil their potential. She also volunteers with the grassroots in Bishan, and has been helping to raise awareness of assistance schemes for the elderly.

“For many of us who have served in the military for many years, it is natural that many of us want to continue to serve Singapore in other ways, even after leaving the SAF,” said Gan.

Rachel Ong Sin Yen

New PAP candidate Rachel Ong Sin Yen, 47, is chief executive of the ROHEI corporation. PHOTO: People's Action Party

In 2001, Ong helped to start Trybe, a youth development charity. Trybe runs three entities - the Singapore Boys' Hostel, a youth probation institution, as well as the Community Rehabilitation Centre for first-time drug abusers, and also Trybe Aftercare.

“I'm energised by two things. The first is to see every youth succeed in life, and the second is to see adults flourish in all that you do,” said Ong, who is single.

Sharael Taha

New PAP candidate Sharael Taha, 39, is an engineer who began his career building race cars and race car engines. PHOTO: People's Action Party

Sharael is Vice President (Strategy and Project Management Office) for Rolls Royce Pte Ltd and is currently on secondment at SAESL (Singapore Aero Engine Services Pte Ltd). He wants to ensure that youths, regardless of race, religion or background, are nurtured and developed to their fullest potential.

Alluding to his childhood when his family had to make every cent count, the father of three said, “My father gave me the best advice: tomorrow must be a better day than today, to keep on trying to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.”

Alex Yeo Sheng Chye

New PAP candidate Alex Yeo Sheng Chye, 41, is a lawyer and father of two. PHOTO: People's Action Party

Yeo practised law in Sydney before his current role at Niru & Co LLC. He is a former Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The father of two has been an active grassroots volunteer in Potong Pasir since 2014 and in Paya Lebar since January 2017. Asked if he would be fielded in Aljunied GRC, Yeo declined to comment.

“As we see global trends of countries and societies becoming more polarised and divided, I hope to play my small part in contributing to continue to grow our inclusive society that we have worked so hard over so many years to build in Singapore,” said Yeo.

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