Lawyer, doctor join PAP's Jurong GRC team

Two new faces will join the People's Action Party's (PAP's) slate in the contest for the Jurong Group Representation Constituency in the coming general election.

They are former civil servant Rahayu Mahzam, 35, and oncologist Tan Wu Meng, 40.

The duo will join Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee and backbencher Ang Wei Neng in the five-member team.

Madam Rahayu, who was previously deputy registrar of the Syariah Court, fills the void left by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who will contest the newly formed Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

A practising lawyer who specialises in civil litigation and family law, Madam Rahayu has been an active volunteer in several Muslim organisations since 1997. She is married.

"I'm passionate about helping disadvantaged families, and I also hope to contribute to the development of policies to improve things for such families, as well as young people," said Madam Rahayu.

Meanwhile, the PAP intends for Dr Tan to take over from retiring three-term MP Arthur Fong, whose Clementi ward in West Coast GRC now falls under Jurong GRC due to the redrawn boundaries.

Dr Tan, who is married with a daughter, is currently a consultant and specialist in medical oncology at the Parkway Cancer Centre.

Addressing the media in Mandarin, Malay and English, he said that entering politics was an "extension" of his work as a doctor.

"One of the things I learnt as a doctor is that life is very short and very unpredictable," he said. "Sometimes, the issues that determine a person's health are not about numbers - it is also about family situations and in my work, I try to take on a role beyond the clinic."

The new slate was revealed by Mr Tharman at the PAP's branch office in Clementi yesterday.

He also announced that current Jurong GRC MP David Ong Kim Huat will defend his Bukit Batok ward, which has been hived off from Jurong to become a Single-Member Constituency.

Bukit Batok was last a single-seat constituency at the 1991 General Election. Chee Soon Juan's Singapore Democratic Party has indicated its intention to contest there.

The PAP's likely opponents in Jurong GRC will be the Singaporeans First party, led by 2011 presidential candidate Tan Jee Say.

On his team's approach, Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, said: "We believe in being on the ground all the time - we do it through extensive house visits and meeting with residents in their homes to find out their problems."


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