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GE2020: PAP unveils 11 new candidates, including ex-IMDA chief, CAG vice president and DBS managing director

SINGAPORE — In a second day of candidate introductions, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) unveiled 11 more candidates that will be fielded in the upcoming General Election on July 10.

Top row (from left): Dr Tan See Leng, Ms Ng Ling Ling, Mr Tan Kiat How, Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, Mr Alvin Tan Sheng Hui. Bottom row (from left): Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, Mr Eric Chua Swee Leong, Ms Yeo Wan Ling, Mr Derrick Goh Soon Hee, Ms Poh Li San, Mr Raymond Lye Hoong Yip.

Top row (from left): Dr Tan See Leng, Ms Ng Ling Ling, Mr Tan Kiat How, Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, Mr Alvin Tan Sheng Hui. Bottom row (from left): Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, Mr Eric Chua Swee Leong, Ms Yeo Wan Ling, Mr Derrick Goh Soon Hee, Ms Poh Li San, Mr Raymond Lye Hoong Yip.

  • The People’s Action Party introduces 11 new candidates in two virtual press conferences
  • The candidates’ ages range from 39 to 55    
  • Six individuals have public sector experience while five are from the private sector
  • PAP wants a team sufficiently diverse to reach out to all Singaporeans, says DPM Heng
  • Election will see an increase in women candidates, says Grace Fu


SINGAPORE — In a second day of candidate introductions, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) unveiled 11 more candidates who will be fielded in the General Election on July 10.

Mr Heng Swee Keat, the party’s first assistant secretary-general, introduced the first slate of candidates in a virtual session on Thursday (June 25) morning.

They are former public servant Ng Ling Ling, 48; former IHH Healthcare chief executive Dr Tan See Leng, 55; lawyer Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, 39; and former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Tan Kiat How, 43.

Another two batches of candidates were later revealed by party organising secretary Grace Fu and vice chairman Masagos Zulkifli.

The candidates are chief executive of Caregiver Asia Yeo Wan Ling, 44; director at professional social network LinkedIn Alvin Tan, 39; Republic Polytechnic senior lecturer Wan Rizal, 42; former civil servant Eric Chua Swee Leong, 41; DBS managing director Derrick Goh Soon Hee, 51; Changi Airport Group vice president Poh Li San, 45, and longtime grassroots leader Raymond Lye Hoong Yip, 54.

“What they all have in common is they have come from relatively modest backgrounds. They have worked their way up to be successful in what they’ve been doing but they all have a heart to serve our people. They have a commitment to serve,” said Mr Heng.

“My colleagues I just introduced have varied and interesting journeys in their lives and I’m quite sure they will add to the need for different viewpoints... I’m glad they responded to our call to serve with PAP for Singapore and Singaporeans,” said Mr Masagos.

When asked how the party chose its new candidates for this General Election, Mr Heng said the PAP wants a team sufficiently diverse to reach out to all Singaporeans from different segments of society, different walks of life and different professions.

“The key thing is that we want people to have integrity. We want people with a strong sense of service, that we feel are prepared to contribute to bringing our people together... At the same time, to continue the professional work to speak up in Parliament, in various debates and in the various deliberations because that's where long-term policies are being made,” he said.

Ms Fu said that this election will see an increase in the participation of women in politics, with the party introducing five new female candidates out of the 19 so far.

She said the party has also been keeping in touch with many promising women out there, who may eventually step forward when their family circumstances or careers allow it.

“My male and female colleagues are always looking for promising candidates, and if they are women, then all the better,” she said.

Speaking on the role of the fourth-generation (4G) leaders in the polls, Mr Heng said that the third-generation and the 4G leaders have been discussing the key issues needed to be tackled in this election, including long-term challenges such as the changing geopolitical situation and the ageing population.

“Of course, a lot of the major programmes in the direction that we are embarking on have very strong inputs of the 4G leadership. The so-called 4G leaders (have been) discussing many of these new directions that we need to take in addressing (and) identifying the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities that are available,” he said.

A total of 26 candidates will be introduced over three days by the ruling party. Including Wednesday’s introductions, a total of 19 candidates have been introduced by the party. It has not said where they will be fielded.


Ms Ng Ling Ling, 48 

Ms Ng stepped down from her position as the chief of future primary care and director of community engagement at the Health Ministry's Office for Healthcare Transformation in March. She was also previously managing director of Community Chest and was named Her World’s Woman of the Year 2018. 

She told the magazine then: “I was very sensitive to the brokenness I saw in the families in my immediate community due to drugs, gambling, abuse and other social problems.”

Ms Ng said during her introduction she wants to support caregivers looking after the elderly and the young. 

“Singapore population is ageing rapidly,” she said. “I hope to advocate for more ways to empower seniors to understand their health, and to live healthily for a longer period. 

“For young families who have to look after elderly parents and young children, empathise with distress that they will face and I hope to find ways to support them in caregiving.”

Dr Tan See Leng, 55

Dr Tan is the former chief executive officer of IHH Healthcare, a Malaysian-Singaporean private healthcare group. He was first involved in grassroots activities in the early 1990s when he was a general practitioner in Kembangan. 

Serving under former Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo then, he was chairman of the Jalan Senang neighbourhood committee. After the news of Dr Tan’s retirement emerged, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong reached out to him to consider entering politics, said Dr Tan in an interview with CNA, adding that Mr Goh's son is a former colleague.

Dr Tan said he is concerned about the rapidly ageing population in Singapore.

“I hope to… build a sustainable infrastructure system, not just to support the elderly generation but to also build a caregiver support network to support the caregivers who actually take care of this elderly population,” he said.

Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, 39

Mr Zhulkarnain is a partner at law firm Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP. He was at one time the youngest chairman of the Association of Muslim Professionals Singapore (AMP), a non-profit organisation serving the Muslim community. 

Inspired by the social impact that has been made on the Malay/Muslim community, he hopes to “drive the community forward”. He has been spotted volunteering in the Keat Hong division of Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

Mr Zhulkarnain said he is concerned about issues regarding social mobility and social cohesion.

“We cannot let differing viewpoints and ideas divide us,” he said. 

“This… is a crucial election for us. And that’s why I’m standing,” he said. “We need to do something, be heard, and shape our social compact and social cohesion, not just for the next five years… but beyond.”

Mr Tan Kiat How, 43

Mr Tan recently stepped down as chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). In 2017, he led the merger of the Infocomm Development Authority and Media Development Authority to form IMDA. Under his direction, IMDA built up Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure by rolling out the fourth telco and awarding spectrum for the deployment of fifth-generation mobile networks. 

Mr Tan was previously deputy secretary for cyber and technology at the Ministry of Communications and Information, where he worked on Singapore's national cybersecurity strategy. He has also worked at the Finance Ministry and Pioneer Generation Office.

He has been involved in several webinars earlier this month where he talked about programmes available to help businesses and workers go digital, alongside Members of Parliament from East Coast GRC.

Mr Tan hopes to bridge the digital divide in the community and protect the young and vulnerable from online harm. He believes in building upon Singapore’s strong foundations to overcome challenges and “make this a better home for generations to come”.

Ms Yeo Wan Ling, 44

Ms Yeo is the chief executive of Caregiver Asia, a global company specialising in the business of home healthcare. Prior to starting the company, she spent over a decade at the Economic Development Board (EDB), where she was part of its global operations team, managing Singapore’s key foreign direct investment accounts and business owners of family-owned conglomerates in the United States, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. She has been stationed in Chicago, Shanghai and Hong Kong to manage EDB’s operations in these regions. 

Ms Yeo also serves as the vice-chairman of Punggol North Citizens’ Consultative Committee. 

“I want to be the in-community champion for caregiving programmes so that our community can take care of each other in a sustainable way,” she said.

Mr Alvin Tan Sheng Hui, 39

Mr Tan is the director and Asia-Pacific head of public policy and economics at professional social network LinkedIn. He worked previously at Facebook as its head of public policy, representing the social media company during the 2018 Select Committee hearings on fake news. Then, he argued against the use of prescriptive legislation to deal with fake news.

He has been a volunteer in Dr Lily Neo’s Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward for the past 15 years but has more recently been seen at Tanjong Pagar GRC Meet-the-People sessions for the Moulmein-Cairnhill division. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he distributed meals and face masks to residents in Pek Kio. Mr Tan graduated from Harvard University with a Master in Public Policy and an economics degree from the University of Sydney. 

“I want to use my skills and experience across the private, public and non-profit sectors to help Singaporeans become even more nimble, to prepare them for the future of work that has arrived much sooner than you and I expected,” he said.

Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, 42

Dr Wan Rizal is a Republic Polytechnic senior lecturer with a doctorate in Sports Science. 

He has been seen walking the ground with former Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari, who was also the form teacher of his Normal (Academic) class in secondary school. Dr Wan Rizal hopes to be the voice in Parliament who champions social mobility. 

“This is how we can allow people who have less, or did less well, to move up and prevent our society from being stratified. Singapore must continue to be a nation of opportunities for all, not for just the privileged few or the lucky ones, but for every Singaporean,” he said. He was spotted in a webinar on June 20 on skills upgrading with Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Ms Denise Phua from Jalan Besar GRC.

Mr Eric Chua Swee Leong, 41

Mr Chua was the director of the SGSecure Programme Office at the Ministry of Home Affairs and is a Colonel in the Singapore Civil Defence Force. He was a commanding officer of the 3rd SCDF Division and has also been serving as honorary aide-de-camp to Singapore’s Presidents since 2007. He is also the chairman of Cairnhill Community Club management committee and sits on the Land Transport Authority’s Active Mobility Advisory Panel.

Mr Chua was also involved in youth entrepreneurship issues during his previous stint as chairman of the People's Association Youth Movement’s Central Youth Council. He was seen in a walkabout with Tanjong Pagar GRC’s Chia Shi-Lu in April. 

“If elected, one of the several areas I’ll like to focus on is to ensure that youth, especially those from humble family backgrounds, like I did, will continue to have a fair chance to succeed in life,” he said.

Mr Derrick Goh Soon Hee, 51

Mr Goh is managing director and head of group audit at DBS Bank and was previously the head of its subsidiary, POSB. Before that, he worked at credit firm American Express for 11 years, spending time in London and New York. Mr Goh said his stint at POSB exposed him to volunteering efforts by grassroots and community leaders.

He has championed access to banking by needy and elderly segments of the population and has been walking the ground in Nee Soon for some years with Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam. He is also vice-chairman of the Gambas-Yishun Citizens' Consultative Committee. 

Said Mr Goh: “I want to play a part to improve the system, to hone the system. I know that Singapore is not perfect but having lived in all these international financial centres, I can say personally that Singapore is the best, and therefore I want to play a role.”

Ms Poh Li San, 45

Ms Poh is the vice president of the Changi Airport Group. In October 2018, she joined the PAP Sembawang branch and is now the deputy chairman of the branch. Ms Poh first came to prominence as a female helicopter pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

She was later the first woman to be appointed full-time aide-de-camp to the late President S R Nathan.

Ms Poh said in previous media reports that she hopes there will be more opportunities in leadership for women in the political arena “because it will be more powerful to work as a team of women leaders”.

“It is important to start nurturing our younger generation of women to set their ambitions high and far, and chase their passion so that they can excel in what they do and contribute to our society in many ways,” she said. 

Mr Raymond Lye Hoong Yip, 54

Mr Lye is a managing partner at Union Law LLP, which he founded in 2014. Prior to private practice, he was a magistrate and deputy registrar of the State Courts. He also served as the chairman of the Ministry of Communications and Information’s programme advisory committee (English) and is currently a resource panel member of the Government Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs.

Mr Lye also chairs the Punggol East Citizens’ Consultative Committee and is a member of the executive committee of the Pasir Ris–Punggol Town Council.

Mr Lye has been seen volunteering more recently in the newly formed Sengkang GRC.

Emphasising the importance of a level playing field, he said he wants to ensure the attainability of meritocracy.

“We leave no Singaporean behind,” said Mr Lye. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report said that Ms Poh Li San is the vice chairman of the Changi Airport Group (CAG). This is incorrect. She is a vice president at CAG. We are sorry for the error.

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