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Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC

Assumptions in healthcare financing “morally questionable”: SDP candidate, Paul Tambyah

Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC
Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC

By Timothy Lai

Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, Professor of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, and Ms Jaslyn Go Hui Leng, business owner and Sales Director, will be standing as candidates in the upcoming General Election under the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) banner. They were officially unveiled at the party’s headquarters today.

Both candidates have been especially prominent within the party and were seen walking the ground in the last few years.

Paul Tambyah, Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC
Paul Tambyah, Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC

Dr Paul is also a Senior Consultant of Infectious Diseases Physician. Despite being told he is already living a comfortable life, Dr Paul told the media he entered politics because “there are many things [about healthcare] that could be better in Singapore.”

While he commended the healthcare infrastructure, such as the quality of doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals, the healthcare financing system does such infrastructure injustice.

He said, “There are many people in Singapore that are struggling within the system.”

He continued, “The healthcare financing system is based on certain assumptions which… are actually morally questionable. The fact is we in the SDP believe healthcare is a basic human right and not a commodity that needs to be traded.”

On why he joined the SDP “of all parties”, Dr Paul believes “the SDP has a very clearly defined philosophy – building a democratic society based on justice and equality, justice and trust in the people of Singapore.”

Jaslyn Go, [Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC]
Jaslyn Go, [Photo: Sofian Razali, TOC]
Ms Jaslyn Go related her “rags to rough-and-tumble story” where she had to support herself since young. She recounted dropping out of the education system after ‘O’ Levels but “went on to accumulate more than 10 years of experience in sales and marketing in various industries but mainly in automobile.”

She explained that her reason for joining politics: “In my generation, we are still able to make it without the paper chase. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the younger generations as there is an over-emphasis on paper qualifications. In addition, we now have to compete with non-Singaporeans for a place in school and at work.”

Ms Go also raised concerns about education policies. “The education system is really very stressful for our kids. Do we really want our children to grow up in this kind of stressful environment?” she asked.

Ms Go has two children of primary school age.

“I want our kids to grow up in an environment where they enjoy learning … And children must be given time to be children.”

SDP announced the candidature of Ms Chong Wai Fung and Mr Khung Wai Yeen yesterday.

The SDP will continue to introduce its candidates in the run up to Nomination Day on 1 September.