Jewel Philemon /
At a walkabout at Kampong Arang Hawker Centre on Sunday to launch her campaign, Ms Chong said she decided to contest the SMC because she grew up there and spent a part of her married life in the constituency. Thus she felt a close affinity to it. “I have many fond memories of Mountbatten and I am just one of them”, she says, referring to residents of the area.
“For so many years, Mountbatten [was] a part of Marine Parade GRC which stretches all the way to [the] upper Serangoon area. Now after 20 years, the people of Mountbatten can vote for their own representative in Parliament again,” Ms Chong says.
When asked what improvements she would bring to the area if elected, Ms Chong says she will use her professional skills of advocacy to champion reasonable concerns of the voters. “Since I am one of them, the voters would be able to bring up their concerns more easily to me and I want to have a deeper understanding of their concerns as well. Since I am not from the PAP (People's Action Party), I can offer new ideas and different perspectives. Moreover, by voting me in, I can also serve the nation, not only the voters in Mountbatten,” she adds.
Ms Chong says that she will address the issues of growing disconnect of youths with Singapore, growing income disparity, affordable healthcare, especially for the elderly, and the rising cost of living. She has also been carrying out pro-bono legal work for Singaporeans who cannot afford legal services and advice. She says that she will continue to do this in her personal capacity even if elected as a Member of Parliament. “It is sad to see people who struggle because they cannot afford to see a lawyer,” Ms Chong explains. “And that is why I want to get involved in pro-bono legal work and this is something which I can certainly organise if I have the capacity. This is something I hope to bring to the table.”
Ms Chong, who is a director and co-founder of Archilex Law Corporation, expressed her wish to be an alternative voice so that there can be more diversity in Parliament. “I don't want to ask other people whether they can do it,” she explains. “The responsibility is yours. This is your future, my children's future, this is my country and if you want to make the country a better place, then you do it, don't ask somebody else to do it. And this journey has been on my mind for a couple of years and now that the General Election is here, I feel that the time is right for me to come forward to offer my services to the nation.”
Ms Chong’s mother, a former lawyer and who is in her seventies, joined her daughter in the walkabout at Old Airport Road's hawker centre. She said that she decided to support her daughter's campaign because there must be accountability, checks and balances in Parliament.
More about Ms Chong:
Jeannette Chong Aruldoss, 47, is a practicing lawyer of 22 years’ standing, a Commissioner for Oaths and a Notary Public. She earned her law degree in the United Kingdom and was called to the English Bar in 1986. She also holds a Masters Degree in Corporate & Commercial Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
For many years Ms Chonog has been providing pro-bono legal advice to Singaporeans facing hardships. She also served as an Honorary Secretary at a church council in Katong from 2006 to 2010. Since 2008, she has been serving in the management council of a residential estate in Siglap comprising over 1000 units.
Ms Chong is happily married and is a mother of four children aged between 12 and 21.
Click here to read more about Ms Chong.