New opposition party SingFirst unveils leadership team

New opposition party SingFirst unveils leadership team
Tan Jee Say, one of the founders of the Singaporeans First party.

The newest opposition party in town, Singaporeans First (SingFirst), unveiled its leadership team at a dinner last night to celebrate its inauguration.

Founder members Tan Jee Say, 61, a finance professional, and Ang Yong Guan, 60, a psychiatrist and retired army colonel, are its secretary-general and chairman respectively.

Both men contested in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in 2011 under the Singapore Democratic Party. Mr Tan also ran in the presidential elections the same year.

The other office holders in the 12-member Central Executive Committee are vice-chairman Tan Peng Ann, 66, a social entrepreneur and retired army colonel; assistant secretary-general Winston Lim, 48, an architect; and treasurer David Foo, 51, a chemist.

The rest of the team comprises retired engineer Michael Chia, 67; medical company head David Tan, 67; business owner Mohamed Randy Ashmooni, 35; chemical sales manager Leow Pei Shan, 34; retired police officer Sukhdev Singh Gill, 64; human resources professional Patrick Heng, 61; and IT consultant Gregory Wong, 44.

Speaking to reporters before the event, Mr Tan Jee Say outlined the party's plans ahead of the next general election, which must be held by January 2017. He said the party is studying Marine Parade GRC, which has a diverse voter mix, to develop a template for effective campaigning.

It will then form teams of campaign managers each month for GRCs such as Tampines and Pasir Ris-Punggol, and hopes to create detailed plans for at least five GRCs by August.

But Mr Tan said the campaign managers may not be election candidates, though he will be standing in the upcoming election.

He also commented on the ongoing saga over governance lapses at the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), saying the "real solution is to return the management of estates to the Housing Board like in the past, so that residents benefit from overall economies of scale and pay a uniform fee".

AHPETC has been in the spotlight over allegations that it overpaid its managing agent.

SingFirst, launched in May last year, has about 60 members.

Dr Ang called for a new economic model for the nation. He said: "Singaporeans have become secondary to the relentless pursuit of economic growth."

Among the 430 guests at the dinner, held at a Chinese restaurant in Tanjong Katong, were members from other opposition parties, including the three Non-Constituency MPs: the Workers' Party's Yee Jenn Jong and Gerald Giam, and the Singapore People's Party's Lina Chiam.

This article was first published on March 23, 2015.
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