Opposition party gets new CEC, announces seven new faces

Opposition party gets new CEC, announces seven new faces
Mr Benjamin Pwee

SINGAPORE - The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) re-elected its six-person central executive committee at its congress last night, where it also announced seven new faces.

Mr Benjamin Pwee, 46, a regional business consultant, retained the top post as secretary-general, while Mr Hamim Aliyas, 50, and Mr Wilfred Leung, 39, stayed on as chairman and assistant secretary-general.

All three contested Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in the 2011 General Election under the Singapore People's Party led by opposition veteran Chiam See Tong, but left the party after that and joined the long-dormant DPP in 2013.

Mr Pwee, a former government scholarship holder, told The Straits Times the party now has 30 members and 50 to 60 volunteers.

He added that they have also been deliberately cautious and conservative in recruiting the right people, in line with his principle of taking the middle ground.

"We've been working quietly behind the scenes to get credible professionals," he said.

The three other re-elected CEC members are architect Juliana Juwahir, 40; tour consultancy owner Ting Tze Jiang, 62; and delivery services officer Saaban Ali, 67; who are treasurer, organising secretary, and assistant organising secretary.

The seven new faces are project coordinator Abdul Malik Rahmat, 55; businessman Frankie Low, 52; customer service agent Firdaus Samad, 31; call centre operations staff Noraini Yunus, 47; Internet start-up company Temasys vice-president Nadine Yap, 46; senior vice-president of a global logistics company Edwin Fernandez, 50; and Keelat theatre ensemble artistic director Gene Sha Rudyn, 46.

Mr Abdul Malik was co-opted into the CEC, while the other six were made observers.

Three will become full members when they hit one year as party members.

Mr Pwee said in an interview the DPP plans to contest up to two GRCs and two single seats at the coming General Election: Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC, and Potong Pasir and Hong Kah North SMCs.

The DPP has been holding walkabouts in Bishan-Toa Payoh and Tanjong Pagar GRCs.

Nearer the elections, it will step up social media and fundraising efforts, and release details of its party platform, he added.

Mr Pwee says this will include a push for what he calls "collaborative government".

"Just as the Government had built constructive relationships with the unions, with other countries through ASEAN, and between the races, we should build a harmonious relationship between parties, including the ruling party," he said. "We cannot allow our politics to become combative and confrontational."

This article was first published on February 27, 2015.
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