The Singapore Democratic Party Tuesday (25 Aug) unveiled its first two candidates for the 11 seats that it will be contesting in the General Election.
They are Chong Wai Fung, 45, and Khung Wai Yeen, 34, who both joined SDP in 2011. Chong is the administrator of Ren Ci Nursing Home (Moulmein) and treasurer of SDP. She holds two masters degrees, in public health and in business administration.
At an SDP media conference, Chong said, “I joined SDP because I believe in the ideals of democracy, and I think SDP embodies all that. It's a place where people are free to voice their thoughts, free to pursue their passions, and being treated with respect and dignity regardless of their beliefs.
I've always had a passion for the vulnerable - the old, children. I'm a nurse by profession [and] I've seen the impact that [healthcare policies] have on people. In many of these cases, VWOs...try and fill the gap when people fall through the cracks. I believe that I [will] make a bigger impact if I step up and be that voice in parliament, because I can affect changes that affect many, many people at one time.”
Khung is an accounts manager at a European MNC. He was previously a regular with the Republic of Singapore Navy for eight years, where he reached the rank of Chief Engineering Naval Specialist. Khung is married with a three-year-old child.
“I truly believe that with the SDP in parliament, we will be pushing for alternate policies to make life better for Singaporeans,” Khung said.
When asked what his family thinks of his running for office, Khung added, "I told my mom, I'm going to stand for election with the SDP. And her reaction is, 'Very good! Mother supports you!' My family is very supportive."
SDP did not reveal which wards Chong and Khung will be standing in.
SDP has indicated that it will contest in Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok and Yuhua Single Member Constituencies, and Marsiling-Yew Tee and Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representative Constituencies in the General Election.
After Parliament was dissolved on Tuesday (25 Aug), the Elections Department announced that Nomination Day has been set for 1 September 2015, and Polling Day will be held on 11 September 2015.
SDP Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan also criticised Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the timing of the election.
“The fact that he's called elections two years ahead of time, you got to be asking the question 'why?'. Why does the Prime Minister not have the confidence of taking this Parliament right through to its full length?” Chee said.
“And then if you want to be very cynical, you have to ask, why two weeks, three weeks after National Day? This is something which we find very disconcerting, because the Prime Minister doesn't seem to be very confident, that he has to use this National Day [and] celebrations of SG50 to help him along. I don't see those as signs of confidence,” he added.
When asked to respond to Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin's comment that elections are not about "horse trading", he quipped, "Mr Tan says a lot of things."
But he added, “Let's also think about that...there are 10 parties [contesting] this time round. It's no easy feat. But we've managed to resolve some of the kinks, iron out some of the crumples, and I think credit must be given where credit is due.
There was a lot of give and take, compromise, and right now, it looks as though every constituency is going to be contested, and I think that's good. We look forward to a healthy, robust contest, at the end of which the people will speak,” Chee said.
He added that the SDP will unveil the rest of its candidates a few at a time, before Nomination Day.