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SINGAPORE VOTES

Voters can expect candidates' introduction after National Day

Newcomers may be introduced by retiring MPs whom they will replace, to ensure a smooth transition: Eng Hen

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Dr Ng said the coming GE would be a "watershed" one - the first after the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore

VOTERS will be able to form a better idea in the following weeks of who and where candidates will be fielded as various parties announce their plans ahead of the coming general election (GE).

Ng Eng Hen, the People's Action Party (PAP) organising secretary, on Sunday said the ruling party will formally introduce its candidates soon after National Day.

And unlike in previous years where the newcomers were introduced by ministers, they may also be introduced by the retiring Members of Parliament (MPs) whom they will take over from, he said, after handing out National Day funpacks to residents in Toa Payoh.

Dr Ng, who is the Defence Minister and MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, said this format is more deliberate and dignified, and will ensure a smooth transition.

He described the coming election as a "watershed" one as it is the first GE since the demise of Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

"This will truly be a general election that Singaporeans will have to decide as a post-LKY Singapore and whatever it is, once the vote is decided, a certain cast has been laid for Singapore."

On Sunday, potential new candidates from Singapore's ruling party were introduced in various constituencies they were likely to be fielded.

Over in Tanjong Pagar GRC, former public servant Joan Pereira, 47, emerged as the new face when the MPs met residents at Bukit Merah View market.

Ms Pereira is currently an assistant general manager at Temasek Cares, the charity arm of Temasek Holdings. Before that, she was director of Family Life and Active Ageing at the People's Association.

The mother of two teenage daughters has been shadowing MP Indranee Rajah in her Tanglin-Cairnhill ward since May.

The same day, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat named two possible candidates for his Tampines GRC.

The first is Desmond Choo, 37, who is now second adviser to grassroots organisations in Tampines East - a ward currently helmed by Mah Bow Tan, 67. Mr Choo is also director of youth development and deputy director of industrial relations at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

He was a losing candidate in the election four years ago when he failed to win the Hougang single constituency seat in 2011, and again in the 2012 by-election.

The other likely candidate is newcomer Cheng Li Hui, who is currently vice-chairman of the Citizen Consultative Committee in Tampines East and deputy CEO and executive director at Hai Leck Holdings.

Currently, the five MPs serving Tampines GRC are Mr Heng, Mr Mah, Masagos Zulkifli, Baey Yam Keng and Irene Ng. The constituency will remain a five-member GRC in the upcoming GE.

Separately, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Josephine Teo hinted at new faces for the area. Without revealing names, the senior minister of state for transport and finance said PAP has found "good candidates" to represent residents of that area.

And Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling said she wants to be fielded in MacPherson, a ward she now oversees and one that has been carved out of Marine Parade GRC to be a single-seat constituency. The heavily pregnant MP said she is confident and ready for a battle there.

Following last Friday's release of the electoral boundaries report, several potential contenders were spotted working the ground islandwide on Saturday.

In Sembawang GRC, grassroots leaders Ong Ye Kung, director of group strategy at Keppel Corporation, and corporate lawyer Amrin Amin joined a morning charity walk in Woodlands.

Elsewhere, at Cheng San Community Club, two potential PAP candidates - Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design deputy director Darryl David and colorectal surgeon Koh Poh Koon - mingled with residents from Ang Mo Kio GRC at a Hari Raya celebration.