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Sixth group of new PAP candidates wants to help youths, workers flourish

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Clockwise from top left, Rachel Ong Sin Yen, Sharael Taha, Alex Yeo Sheng Chye and Gan Siow Huang.

HELPING youths flourish and preparing workers for the future economy were among the concerns of four People's Action Party (PAP) candidates introduced on Friday by party vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli, the sixth group of new faces to be unveiled since Wednesday.

They include former air force brigadier-general Gan Siow Huang, 46, who was the first woman general in the Singapore Armed Forces and is one of several senior public servants who stepped down ahead of the election.

Asked by the media about how her background puts her among a long-running trend of candidates from the military, she acknowledged that her experience in the military has been valuable, but called for the avoidance of stereotypes, saying: "Don't look at me as just another general. Look at me for who I am."

She is now deputy chief executive officer of the National Trades Union Congress' Employment and Employability Institute, a role in which she wishes to help Singaporeans get good jobs. Married with three daughters, Ms Gan is also passionate about helping girls and young women develop their potential so they can contribute to the community.

Similarly, the wish "to see every youth succeed in life" and "to see adults flourish" is what drives Rachel Ong Sin Yen, 47, chief executive of local corporate training company Rohei Corporation and founder of youth charity Trybe. Currently vice-chair of the Telok Blangah Citizens' Consultative Committee, Ms Ong is single and lives with her parents.

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Highlighting the importance of preparing the workforce for the rise of Industry 4.0 and creating good jobs for the future was Sharael Taha, 39, currently on secondment from Rolls Royce and serving as the vice-president for strategy and project management in Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited. "For the seniors, low-wage workers, and the less abled, we have to make sure that they are part of this journey," he said.

Mr Sharael, who is married with three children, also wants to ensure "equal opportunity for every child regardless of race, religion, or economic standing".

Also stressing the need to preserve Singapore's harmony, in the face of global trends of polarisation and division, was lawyer Alex Yeo Sheng Chye, director at Niru & Co LLC. He noted that although he and his wife are from different cultural backgrounds, as she is South Asian and Hindu, their two children are able to be themselves and have the shared identity of being Singaporean.

Mr Yeo has been a grassroots volunteer in Potong Pasir since 2014 and in Paya Lebar since 2017. As a grassroots leader, he set up legal clinics in both areas, as well as working to improve healthcare awareness and services for the elderly.

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