PAP introduces 2 new candidates for Sembawang GRC

PHOTO: Twitter/People's Action Party

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) has unveiled two new candidates for the Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) for the upcoming General Election, local media reported.

Mr Ong Ye Kung, 45, director of group strategy at Keppel Corporatoin and Mr Amrin Amin, 35, a corporate lawyer, were introduced to the public on Friday morning at a press conference held at the Sunshine Welfare Action Mission Home in Sembawang.

Mr Ong, a former top civil servant, was a member of the high-profile PAP Aljunied GRC team led by former Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo, that was defeated by the Workers' Party in 2011. Mr Ong said: "Never let one loss become a defeat. Never let one setback become a failure."

They will join incumbent members PAP Chairman Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Mr Vikram Nair in the five-member GRC.

Meanwhile, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi and Ms Ellen Lee are retiring from politics.

Mr Hawazi and first-term MP Ong Teng Koon had their wards moved to the new Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC in the latest electoral boundary changes. At the same time, Dr Lim's Canberra ward - which used to be in Nee Soon GRC - has now been absorbed into Sembawang GRC.

Mr Khaw said of the new candidates: "They all have their hearts in the right place. This is what we look for in our candidates. Capabilities are easy to judge - we have put them in places where we have seen them for a number of years. What is not so easy to assess is character, values."

"We look for people who are honest, with high standards of integrity. Who are passionate about wanting to help others, with a sense of selflessness - we all live in this world for a larger cause, not just for ourselves, but to see how we can tap on our abilities to help the others to help others and hopefully make their lives better."

Ms Lee only confirmed her retirement on Friday.

Mr Khaw paid tribute to Ms Lee, saying she had always put her "heart and soul" into everything she was doing" and brought a lot of empathy to her work in the constituency.

PAP will be up against National Solidarity Party (NSP), which announced on Monday that it will be contesting in Sembawang GRC.

"We welcome NSP's participation and we hope that they will disclose their candidates soon so voters can interact with them and know their plans," said Mr Khaw.

The Singapore Democratic Party, which contested in Sembawang GRC during the last election in 2011, has "voluntarily withdrawn from the GRC in the hope it would help resolve remaining claims," said NSP in a statement.

PAP said on Monday that it will unveil its line-up of candidates for the coming General Election over the next two weeks. This follows the introduction of three new candidates for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC at a coffee shop in Toa Payoh Central on Wednesday.