GE2015: SingFirst Tan Jee Say: PAP's Goh Chok Tong is an overstayer in GE

Andre Frois
SingFirst unveils second batch of candidates for GE2015

Singaporeans First (SingFirst) announced its second batch of new candidates who will likely contest in the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in next month’s General Election.

Ang Yong Guan, 60, Chairman of SingFirst and a psychiatrist, is among the five candidates in this batch. He introduced the other candidates at a media conference on Saturday (29 Aug): Tan Peng Ann, 67, a social entrepreneur and retired army colonel; Wong Soon Hong, 57, a manager of a chemical and marine hardware business; Foo Ming Jin David, 51, a chemist; and Sukdeu Singh, 64, who has served in the Singapore Police Force for over 31 years.

Tan, who has received various medals for his community services, said, “I believe I can serve the community, the less fortunate and the less privileged. I want to serve the older generation of Singaporeans. Many older Singaporeans need help bringing back their self-esteem.”

Similarly, Wong has been involved in social programmes previously and decided to enter politics after being introduced to SingFirst through Foo at a party dinner. “I looked at the SingFirst manifesto and it stirred me up. I want to restore the Singaporean spirit and the Singaporean identity,” he said.

The party is waging its electoral campaign on putting Singaporeans first at the heart of government policies. Foo, who has worked at A*STAR, Johnson & Johnson and other multinational corporations, said he will work towards the party’s vision. “Incomes have been stagnating. I want to create an environment that allows citizens to develop a self-esteem and a mutual respect between government and people,” he said.

Sukdeu Singh, another social activist who has been involved in projects in Indonesia, said the timing was right for him to return to Singapore. “I spent 13 years in broken periods in Sulawesi helping the poor, homeless and those in need, but I never forgot the cries of my Singaporeans.”

One hot-button issue that has already been addressed by various parties and is bound to surface at electoral rallies later is immigration.

Ang outlined SingFirst’s position on the issue. “We believe in responsible immigration. We need to integrate the foreigner. The Singaporean must get the job first. Something went wrong along the way and Singapore failed to train Singaporeans,” he said.

On the need for political renewal, Ang said Singaporeans have been “brainwashed” by the pervasive influence of state institutions, calling it the “Singapore Stockholm Syndrome”. Hence, he added that SingFirst’s younger candidates, who have strong educational and work credentials, can lead the change to shake off the political apathy of Singaporeans.

Party secretary-general Tan Jee Say, 61, contrasted this with the People’s Action Party’s Goh Chok Tong, 74, who is contesting in the Marine Parade GRC, saying he is an “overstayer” in this election.

Campaigning on the slogan “Restore our Nation”, SingFirst unveiled its first batch of candidates on Friday (28 Aug). They are Tan, who is also a former presidential candidate; Melvyn Chiu Weng Hoe, 36, sales executive; Fahmi Rais, 48, media consultant; Chirag Desai, 38, market risk manager; and Wong Chee Wai, 44, IT consultant. They are expected to contest in the Tanjong Pagar GRC.