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WP unveils first four candidates, including Nicole Seah and Yee Jenn Jong
THE Workers' Party plans to contest in two single-seat wards and four Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) in the upcoming General Election, the party's chief said on Thursday.
In a virtual press conference, the party's secretary-general Pritam Singh said the party will field candidates in Hougang and Punggol West Single Member Constituencies (SMC) and in the Aljunied, Marine Parade, Sengkang and East Coast GRCs.
Calling the upcoming GE a "tough and challenging one" for WP owing to the pandemic and safe-distancing requirements, he said the party will campaign as best as it can online.
During the session, he also introduced the party's first batch of four candidates, two of whom are familiar to Singaporean voters.
One of them is Nicole Seah, who joined WP in 2015, having previously contested under the National Solidarity Party's (NSP) banner in 2011. The NSP's slate went up against Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's team in Marine Parade GRC that year.
Ms Seah, 33, is now an associate director at a multinational marketing group and is married with a two-year-old daughter.
Her decision to return to politics is prompted by her belief that there should be "balance" in Parliament, she said.
"To be honest, I'm having a very stable career right now, my personal life is in a very good state, and I do recognise that coming back out will also mean increased scrutiny. But I do it for the party because I believe in the leadership and I believe in the vision.
"And I do it for my daughter because she is in the next generation of Singaporeans and I want to leave behind a legacy for her - where she would feel comfortable regardless of her political inclinations or the kinds of views that she's expressing," Ms Seah told reporters over a virtual press conference on Thursday.
The other is education entrepreneur Yee Jenn Jong, who came up against Charles Chong in the former Joo Chiat SMC in a close fight that resulted in the PAP candidate winning by 51.02 per cent. Mr Yee was then appointed Non-Constituency MP between 2011 and 2015.
Mr Yee said his reason for contesting this time remains the same as before.
"I joined in 2011 because I felt that after so many years of dominance (by the ruling party), there really must be that competition. So, as long as I feel I'm relevant and am able to contribute, I'll be back," he said.
The Joo Chiat single-seat ward became part of Marine Parade GRC during the 2015 GE, and Mr Yee was fielded there as a candidate at that time, with Ms Seah assisting him.
The two other candidates introduced on Thursday are volunteers who have been helping with grassroots and parliamentary work.
One of them is Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33, an equity research analyst and vice-president at investment bank Credit Suisse. A graduate from the Singapore Management University, he is married and has a nine-month-old son.
Mr Chua said that through his work, he is constantly in touch with the latest developments in global markets, while he continues to keep up with local issues facing Singaporeans.
"To me, the ability to blend international perspectives from multinational companies, large listed corporates, institutional investors and yet combine that with the local perspective - the local issues from Singaporeans that I manage to hear from the ground - I think that is something which I would be able to bring into Parliament to contribute to a lively debate," he said.
The fourth candidate is Muhammad Azhar Abdul Latip, 34, who is a Grab driver and runs a small business. He graduated from political science at the National University of Singapore in 2011 and worked in the marine insurance industry for several years.
However, his life took a turn after he lost his left leg in a traffic accident. He began volunteering for WP in Aljunied GRC through their food distribution and community outreach programmes.
Mr Azhar said he hopes to be a voice for persons with disabilities and other minority groups.
"Ever since I became a disabled person, I noticed this narrative in the national discussion, (where we say) we want to be an inclusive society, but when it comes to the disabled groups, it tends to be more of lip service," he said.
"So that is one thing that I would like to see change in the society, which is to touch on the disabled groups, to 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 that they deserve."
For more of our Singapore GE2020 coverage, go to bt.sg/ge2020.