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THE Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) unveiled its first two candidates on Tuesday, Chong Wai Fung and Khung Wai Yeen.
They were introduced by SDP party chief Chee Soon Juan at a media briefing which took place shortly after Parliament was dissolved.
SDP has already said that it will be contesting in the Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee group representation constituencies (GRCs) as well as the Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok and Yuhua single-member constituencies (SMCs). The party did not reveal which SMC or GRC the two candidates will be fielded, though this will be announced in the coming days.
Ms Chong, 45, is the administrator of Ren Ci Nursing Home (Moulmein) and holds the role of SDP's treasurer. A nurse by profession, she holds two Masters degrees - one in Public Health and the other in Business Administration.
"I've seen healthcare policies impact patients in hospitals, out of hospitals, in their own homes, whether healthcare financing policy or public hospital-related issues," she highlighted, pointing out that voluntary welfare organisations often tend to fill the gaps when people fall through the cracks.
Ms Chong said that she is running in the upcoming General Election (GE) as she is keen to help craft better policies to fill the gaps. She joined the SDP in 2011.
Meanwhile, Mr Khung, 34, is an accounts manager in a European multinational company, according to the SDP website. He started his career with the Singapore Navy - during which he held positions such as chief engineering naval specialist - and left in 2010 after eight years of service. He joined the SDP in 2011, participating in house visits, walkabouts and food distribution to low-income families.
"I believe that with the SDP in Parliament we will be pushing for alternative policies to make life better for Singaporeans," he said, citing various difficulties faced by Singaporeans.
He highlighted key issues such as housing prices, the deferment of the CPF withdrawal age and the shortage of beds in public hospitals.
At the press conference, Dr Chee brought up the fact that elections were called two years ahead of time as well as the timing of the GE, which comes just weeks after Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations.
"You've got to be asking the question 'Why?'" said Dr Chee, who will be participating in the upcoming election. "This is something which we find very disconcerting. The prime minister doesn't seem to be very confident, that he has to use this . . . National Day celebrations of SG50 to kind of help him along."
At the same time, he highlighted that SDP is ready, and has been putting things in place since it launched its campaign in January.
Noting that it appears every constituency will be contested this time around, he added: "We look forward to a healthy, robust contest at the end of which the people will speak."
The SDP will field 11 candidates for the coming GE, with the rest to be announced in the coming days.