SINGAPORE - Two potential People's Action Party (PAP) candidates for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC team in the next general election were spotted yesterday.
They are 48-year-old Chong Kee Hiong, chief executive of Singapore Exchange-listed OUE Hospitality Trust, and 41-year-old Saktiandi Supaat, a former Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) economist now heading the foreign exchange research team at Maybank.
The duo were among Bishan-Toa Payoh grassroots leaders who accompanied Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen when he opened a newly renovated Residents' Committee Centre at Toa Payoh East.
Dr Ng, who is the ward's anchor minister, described them as among potential candidates who are already active on the ground in many GRCs across Singapore, well ahead of the next general election which must be held before January 2017.
The move was in response to Singaporeans' feedback after the 2011 General Election, said the PAP organising secretary.
"Many Singaporeans said that they prefer candidates who have spent some time on the ground before elections come."
It will also allow potential candidates time to get to know residents, and residents can decide whether the new faces can serve them better, added Dr Ng. "That is good not only for the PAP, but all political parties."
These candidates with a "record of service" are PAP's "preferred type of person" to put up as candidates, he noted, although he acknowledged it is "not always possible" to find such people.
Both Mr Chong and Mr Saktiandi are newly minted grassroots leaders at the Toa Payoh East and Bishan East citizens consultative committees, but they also do other volunteer work.
Mr Saktiandi was president of the youth wing of self-help group Association of Muslim Professionals for three years, from 2011 to January this year.