Not easy but felt right: WP's He Ting Ru on contesting GE2020 with husband Terence Tan

PHOTO: Workers' Party

GE2020 may not be the first rodeo for the Workers' Party's (WP) He Ting Ru and Terence Tan but it will certainly be one for the books — their family history books, that is.

After all, this election will be their first as a married couple and parents.

The decision for them to both contest in the upcoming election was not made lightly, He revealed at WP's virtual press conference yesterday (June 28), citing "many, many concerns" from her loved ones.

"When [WP leaders] Pritam (Singh) and Sylvia (Lim) asked us to consider, we thought very hard about it," the 37-year-old said. "Honestly it's not easy but it's something we felt was right for us to do."

She explained they both believe the country needs more and stronger alternative voices.

He and Tan, 48, who have two sons aged two and three, were both part of the WP team contesting Marine Parade GRC in 2015 along with Firuz Khan, Dylan Foo and Yee Jenn Jong.

They tied the knot in January 2016, according to a Lianhe Wanbao report.

They had to make "a lot of adjustments" when their kids entered the picture, but they're not too different from other working parents, He said.

"Every morning, you wake up, you put on your work clothes, you go to work. Maybe for us, this is a bit of an extension of that."

Besides their demanding day jobs — He is the head of legal at a listed company while Tan is managing director at a hotel group, on top of practising law — they have also volunteered with WP since 2011 and share a common vision for Singapore's future.

She's also hoping to build a better country for her kids.

"My children will, in time, like their father, enlist to defend their country and pledge to serve it," she said.

"I want them to be proud of their country that has overcome obstacles by bringing its most vulnerable along with it. A country where they can have strong and respectful disagreements with one another. And a society which pursues growth but cares about the impact our actions have on our people and planet."

kimberlylim@asiaone.com