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PSP unveils 6 candidates for GE, the first of several batches to be introduced

SINGAPORE — Progress Singapore Party (PSP) secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock on Thursday (June 18) unveiled six candidates for the coming General Election, but did not reveal where they will be contesting.

Clockwise from top left: Francis Yuen, Gigene Wong, Hazel Poa, Muhammad Taufik Supan, Bradley Bowyer and Sri Nallakaruppan.

Clockwise from top left: Francis Yuen, Gigene Wong, Hazel Poa, Muhammad Taufik Supan, Bradley Bowyer and Sri Nallakaruppan.

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SINGAPORE — Progress Singapore Party (PSP) secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock on Thursday (June 18) unveiled six candidates for the coming General Election (GE), but did not reveal where they will be contesting.

The six were introduced during an online media event, and the first of several batches to be unveiled.

They are:

  • Mr Francis Yuen, 70. Mr Yuen was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces. He has worked in ST Aerospace and other global companies such as Honeywell and Ingersoll Rand. He is a member of PSP’s central executive committee. In the coming GE, he said he would address the following issues: The rising cost of living, Singapore’s economic structure, and transparency and accountability in governance.

  • Ms Gigene Wong, 54. Ms Wong had for the last 20 years held roles in multinational corporations in China, being the former chief executive officer of Gulf Oil China and chief finance officer of Foshan Electrical and Lighting Co. She wants to “speak up for all Singaporeans” on topics such as the rising cost of living and education.

  • Ms Hazel Poa, 50. Ms Poa was in the public service, having served in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Division, among others. She is now in the education industry and owns five education centres and a private school. She is assistant treasurer at PSP, and was formerly secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP). She is the only one among the six with experience as a candidate, having contested Chua Chu Kang GRC in 2011 under the NSP banner. She hopes to see the education system and political landscape “embrace and respect different ideas and paths”.

  • Mr Sri Nallakaruppan, 56. Mr Nallakaruppan is a chartered accountant registered with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. He is working as an investment specialist in capital markets and has 25 years of experience. He is the treasurer at PSP. He said he would be “sincere and willing to work hard to uplift the lives of fellow Singaporeans”.

  • Mr Bradley Bowyer, 53. Mr Bowyer works in film, television and theatre. He has been involved in the political scene since 2011, being a former member of the People’s Voice party. Being vocal on social media, he said he is “stepping up from behind the keyboard” to be part of the team he believes has “an inspiring vision for Singapore”.

  • Mr Muhammad Taufik Supan, 40. Mr Taufik is an information technology professional who comes from a middle-income family. He used to take on ad hoc jobs to pay for his tertiary education, and now he aims to champion the causes of underprivileged Singaporeans.

During the unveiling, Dr Tan, who previously stated his objection to having an election during the pandemic, reiterated his stance.

“Are we pushing the envelope too far, knowing very well that this illness can spread if we hold this big election?” asked Dr Tan. He added that the compulsory nature of the GE means that all eligible voters need to take part.

“Should there be big clusters formed after the General Election, you could have won the battle, but you would have lost the war,” he said. “That’s the price the Government has to pay.”

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean had in a parliamentary session in March spoken about the issue of holding an election during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to a question by Mr Christopher de Souza, Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency, Mr Teo said a GE would not disrupt any of the measures taken at the borders or at healthcare institutions, schools and workplaces as well as safe distancing measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“But Covid-19 has created a new norm, whether elections are held early or later, we will still have to work on the basis that the next election will necessarily be different from past elections,” said Mr Teo.

What this means is that the necessary safeguards and precautions must be taken, no matter when the election is held. Political parties must make the necessary arrangements so that nominations, campaigning and voting can be done effectively and safely, he added.

The Elections Department unveiled on Thursday rules pertaining to how rallies, walkabouts and house visits should be conducted in the next GE, which must be held by April 2021.

For instance, political parties on their walkabouts and house visits cannot be in groups of more than five. There should also be no mixing between the groups, and each group needs to remain at least 1m apart from other groups.

These rules were designed according to the safe distancing measures announced by the Government for Phase Two of Singapore’s exit from the circuit breaker, which begins on Friday.

Answering a query from the media about PSP’s online campaign, Mr Bowyer said that the campaign would be targeted at younger voters and he hopes that seniors can also participate.

Dr Tan added: “All the opposition parties will be now left a bit hanging because the methods of campaigning will be so changed and so different. This will definitely affect our way of reaching out to the ground.”

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Progress Singapore Party Tan Cheng Bock Singapore General Election PSP candidates

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