SINGAPORE — It is an “inaccurate conception” to say that new People’s Action Party (PAP) candidates being fielded in Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) are “hiding” behind experienced office holders, said new PAP candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC Eric Chua on Monday (29 June).
Speaking at a PAP virtual press conference to introduce the candidates for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas Single-Member Constituency (SMC), the 41-year-old alluded to his years spent as a grassroots activist being an understudy to Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah in Tanjong Pagar, which gave him guidance and inspiration.
“But now, at this juncture...(Alvin Tan and I) are now our own men, we are running our own show. As Alvin has rightly mentioned, every vote has to be earned and we have been doing that, and we have been walking the ground,” said the former commander of the 3rd Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) division.
“We understand how it's done, we understand our residents, and we are working very hard to make sure that we are doing the right things, and doing good for our residents.”
Chua was referring to Alvin Tan, Asia Pacific head of public policy and economics at LinkedIn, both of whom were unveiled on Monday morning by Indranee and Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Chua was answering a question on the practice of fielding new candidates in GRCs with experienced anchor ministers. He was asked if this meant there would not be a serious examination of their abilities, and whether he would prefer to run in a single member constituency (SMC).
Responding to the same question, Tan, 39, alluded to his and Chua’s “15, 16 years” of service as grassroots activists. “We've been serving here on the ground, 15,16 years ago. And it's pounding the pavement, helping vulnerable Singaporeans, helping Singaporeans get prepared for work, for jobs. So the premise is not quite accurate in this regard.”
He added, “I have a history working in Kreta Ayer alongside (Jalan Besar GRC MP) Dr Lily Neo, building and helping to serve our elderly residents, helping to build racial, religious harmony, helping the youth, and also in Moulmein-Cairnhill...raise awareness about climate change.
“So these things don't come overnight. These things take time to bring communities together. And it also takes time to build relationships with every single voter. So we're not parachuted in any regard. We've been here for many years. And I would like to see that in this election, we will continue to earn their vote.”
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