GE2020: Workers' Party unveils first 4 candidates, including Nicole Seah and Yee Jenn Jong
SINGAPORE — The Workers’ Party on Thursday (25 June) introduced its first slate of four candidates that it will be fielding in the General Election (GE) on 10 July, including former election candidates Nicole Seah and Yee Jenn Jong.
The opposition party unveiled the candidates at its first virtual press conference in the GE season, which was presided by Secretary-General Pritam Singh and Chairman Sylvia Lim.
Yee Jenn Jong, 55, contested under WP in the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in GE2015, while Nicole Seah, 33, contested in the same GRC but in GE2011 under the National Solidarity Party.
The other two candidates are Louis Chua Kheng Wee and Muhammad Azhar Abdul Latip, both 33. Chua is an analyst at an investment bank while Azhar formerly worked in the marine insurance industry.
Muhammad Azhar Abdul Latip, 33
Azhar said that a few years after working, he was involved in a near-fatal road traffic accident where he lost his left leg. According to his profile on the Workers’ Party website, Azhar is hoping to commence training as a para-athlete and represent Singapore in international competitions.
His political journey began as a volunteer in Aljunied GRC where he helped in food distribution and community outreach efforts. He said that he hoped to be given the opportunity to help the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Singapore and to see a “fairer society where minorities are not discriminated against”.
“I'm a disabled person. And over the years ever since I became a disabled person, I noticed this narrative in the national discussion, whereby we want to be an inclusive society. But when it comes to the disabled groups, it tends to be more of a lip service that you say that you want to be an inclusive society,... So that is one thing that I would like to see, to change in this society, which is to touch on disabled groups, make sure that they are being assisted, that those who want to work, are given equal opportunities for employment, and to be able to receive the help they deserve.”
Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33
Chua, who is father to a nine-month-old son, is a research analyst at an investment bank. He said his work enables him to be in touch with the global economy and local issues at the same time and as such, he can contribute to a “lively debate” in parliament.
He told reporters he strongly believed that “monopoly in the government is never a good thing”.
He said, “We need to recognise that dissenting views should not only be accepted, but should actually be encouraged. This will ensure that we come up with the best ideas to take Singapore forward. I believe change has to start somewhere, and for me it starts with Parliament, and it starts with the Workers’ Party playing a bigger role in shaping Singapore's future. It starts with Singaporeans stepping up to build a better Singapore, for Singaporeans.”
Nicole Seah, 33
Seah first caught public attention in GE2011 when she contested under the NSP. She left the political scene and moved overseas, returning to volunteer with WP in 2015. Now an associate director at a multinational marketing firm, Seah is also married with a two-year-old daughter.
She said she joined WP as she was “drawn to the ethos of the party”.
“It’s a party that does not oppose for the sake of opposing. I believe that it is important to see a fair and transparent discussion on the issues that matter. I hope that people who might speak out respectfully and out of concern will not get mocked or bullied for their differing views.
“How our leaders behave will also signal to the public what kinds of behaviour and debate are acceptable. We need to move towards debating in the spirit of the argument instead of resorting to character assassination.”
Yee Jenn Jong, 55
Another familiar face is Yee, who contested GE2011 in Joo Chiat SMC but lost and was appointed a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament. He contested again and lost in GE2015 in Marine Parade GRC. Now an education entrepreneur, Yee said he continued to be active in discussing policy matters with his team despite not being in the most recent Parliament.
“I believe Singapore needs a strong alternative, only when there’s competition will the PAP listen to you. They say that there can only be one team A in Singapore, and only they are exceptional. But we have seen they too can, and have failed.”
Asked why he returned to politics, Yee said, “I don’t think I’ve ever left”.
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