Gan Siow Huang was almost given away as a baby

PHOTO: YouTube/CNA

Since her Nomination Day speech, Gan Siow Huang has become famous on the internet for her tough-as-nails personality and has been nicknamed Singapore's Mulan.

However, beneath the tough exterior lies a story of a woman who was almost given away at birth and persevered despite the deck being stacked against her.

In her constituency political broadcast speech on July 6, the PAP candidate for Marymount SMC said: "My father was a taxi driver and my mother a housewife. Despite not having much to start with, my parents worked hard and raised my three siblings and me well.

"When I was born, my grandmother suggested that my parents give me away to a relative as they could not afford to raise more children. But my parents decided to keep me instead. They persevered, worked hard, raised my siblings and me well, and saw us through university education."

Now, the 46-year-old is known for being Singapore's first female general and she had to work her way up from a traffic controller to become the commander of the largest formation in the air force. It took her 25 years, but she succeeded.

Gan said: "I believe that my experience and the values that I gained in the SAF, especially in leading and taking care of people, will enable me to serve the residents of Marymount well."

ALSO READ: 'Don't stereotype military people': PAP's Gan Siow Huang

As for her opponent from Progress Singapore Party, Dr Ang Yong Guan, he hopes to shift the focus back to building the people as the PAP has neglected that "in its obsession with growing the economy", he said.

"Singapore is a safe and peaceful place to live in. But do Singaporeans feel at peace with their lives?" Dr Ang asked while pointing out that Singapore is an "an expensive and stressful city" with many people still being "afraid to talk about it [mental illness]".

Dr Ang also claimed that the PAP has "put the health of Singaporeans second" by holding the General Election during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 65-year-old said: "As a psychiatrist, I would be able to examine policies that have direct psychological impact on our lives. Singaporeans should be happy and not just wealthy."

bryanlim@asiaone.com