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Former potential PAP Aljunied GRC candidate turns up at Marsiling-Yew Tee

SINGAPORE — A People’s Action Party (PAP) member who was abruptly asked to step down as its Kaki Bukit branch chairman — just weeks before the 2015 General Election (GE) after he had been flagged as a potential candidate — has resurfaced at another constituency, doing grassroots work.

Mr Kahar Hassan (right) with Marsiling-Yew Tee MP Halimah Yacob (left) serving lunch yesterday at the Marsiling Kindness Project, which supports needy families. Photo: Jason Quah/TODAY

Mr Kahar Hassan (right) with Marsiling-Yew Tee MP Halimah Yacob (left) serving lunch yesterday at the Marsiling Kindness Project, which supports needy families. Photo: Jason Quah/TODAY

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SINGAPORE — A People’s Action Party (PAP) member who was abruptly asked to step down as its Kaki Bukit branch chairman — just weeks before the 2015 General Election (GE) after he had been flagged as a potential candidate — has resurfaced at another constituency, doing grassroots work. 

Contacted by TODAY, Mr Kahar Hassan said he has been helping Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Member of Parliament Halimah Yacob at her Meet-the-People Session (MPS) for more than a year. He is also a member of the Marsiling Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC). 

Mr Kahar, who works at the Land Transport Authority, said he was approached by Mdm Halimah to help her after the GE in September 2015 — just over a month or so after he was asked to leave his post in Kaki Bukit, which is in Aljunied GRC. 

Mr Kahar’s departure from his original post was announced after he had worked the ground in Kaki Bukit for 16 months. At that time, he said the party did not offer a reason for asking him to step down, and was tight-lipped on his future plans, stressing that he was leaving it up to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to decide. 

Former PAP chairman Lim Boon Heng subsequently told the media that the party felt that it needed a change, even though Mr Kahar had been a “very hardworking person”. Mr Lim added that PAP found a “better fit” for the role in Mr Shamsul Kamar. 

Mr Shamsul went on to become part of the PAP’s Aljunied GRC team that lost to the Workers’ Party in the 2015 GE, after receiving 49.05 per cent of the vote. 

Speaking to TODAY on Friday (April 7), Mr Kahar said that apart from helping out at the MPS, he also organises and participates in community engagement activities, including explaining new policies and the 2017 Budget measures to Marsiling residents. “My role revolves mainly (around) communications within the CCC and out to the community,” he said. 

Mr Kahar said he used to serve in Marsiling’s township development committee under the area’s former Member of Parliament Hawazi Daipi. “So I am quite familiar with the grassroots leaders there ... (And I am now) working with people that I have already known earlier,” he said. 

On the possibility of standing in future elections, he said: “Well, just continue to do what I am doing, what I like doing, helping people, do my part for the community. That’s all.”

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