Prof Tambyah
Prof Tambyah

Professor Paul Anantharajah Tambyah is set to join the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

A familiar face at the party’s activities the last few years, Prof Tambyah’s membership has raised the prospects of his candidacy in the upcoming general elections under the SDP banner.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Prof Tambyah said that he is at the moment an activist and would be handing over his duties at human rights group, Maruah, before joining the SDP.

Maruah does not allow political party members to join it.

Prof Tambyah is an infectious diseases specialist at the Department of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS), where in 2013 he was granted full tenure.

Besides being Professor of Medicine, he is also Senior Consultant ID Physician.

According to the Doctors of Tomorrow website, Prof Tambyah completed medical school at NUS and then after national service in the Singapore Armed Forces, went on to postgraduate training in the US under Dr Dennis Maki at the University of Wisconsin.

“Since his return to Singapore more than 15 years ago, he has been involved in a number of international and national committees. Past appointments have included founding head of the division of ID, NUS, Asst Dean, YLLSOM, and board member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology in America. He is currently President of the Society of Infectious Diseases (Singapore) and Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection.”

Prof Tambyah has extensive experience and has received numerous awards in his career. (See here.)

Prof Tambyah’s inclusion in the SDP team will undoubtedly give the party another boost, after its secretary-general’s return to the electoral arena after an absence of almost 15 years because of legal restrictions.

The SDP said on Thursday during its walkabout at Bukit Panjang that it will return to the constituencies it had contested before, and is also contemplating mounting a challenge in some new areas, such as Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, and the revived SMC in Bukit Batok.

What is confirmed is that the party will not be contesting Tanjong Pagar GRC, the constituency of the late Lee Kuan Yew.

“Many people in Tanjong Pagar are very keen to vote,” said Prof Tambyah, who was fronting the SDP’s door-stop interview with the media, “but at the same time, there are many other parties that have expressed interest.”

It is reported that the Singapore First Party, led by Tan Jee Say, and the Democratic Progressive Party, led by Benjamin Pwee, are interested in the GRC.

Besides Marsiling-Yew Tee and Bukit Batok, the SDP is also eyeing two other GRCs – Holland-Bukit Timah, and Sembawang – and SMCs Yuhua, and Bukit Panjang.

The opposition parties will be meeting on Monday to negotiate among themselves on which party will contest which areas so as to avoid three-cornered fights.

“It will be important for everybody to understand what is the best way to give Singaporeans an alternative, to provide a check and balance and perhaps even to ensure we deny the People’s Action Party a two-thirds majority in Parliament,” Prof Tambyah said.

The SDP has introduced several policy papers the last few years, offering alternative solutions to some of the problems faced by Singapore.

You can view them here: “SDP Alternatives.”

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