Goh, second from right

Workers’ Party urges voters to “empower your future”, introduces four candidates

WP_pressconf_26Aug

The Workers’ Party (WP) launched its campaign theme and introduced four candidates on Wednesday in the first of a series of press conferences that will gradually reveal the entire WP slate for the 2015 general election.

The four candidates were banker Dylan Ng Foo Eng, associate professor Daniel Goh Pei Siong, engineer Redzwan Hafidz Abdul Razak and software engineers Koh Choong Yong.

Of the four, only Koh has previously stood for elections, contesting Sengkang West SMC in the 2011 general election. He lost to PAP’s Lam Pin Min after garnering about 42 per cent of the vote.

no choice

WP leader Low Thia Khiang began proceedings by revealing the party’s 2015 campaign slogan, “Empower Your Future”. Describing Singapore’s Golden Jubilee as a “milestone” for Singapore, he encouraged voters to consider the future of politics in Singapore.

Introductions of each candidate was left to party chairman Sylvia Lim and the candidates themselves. First up was Daniel Goh, an associate professor in sociology at the National University of Singapore. Goh spoke of the opportunities he had to dream and have ambitions as a child, and hoped to ensure that Singapore remained to provide opportunities for his son’s generation.

Addressing the assembled press, Redzwan said that his decision to join the party was not an easy one, as his family were worried about his involvement with an opposition party, particularly because his wife is a civil servant. If elected, he said that he would like to address housing issues in Parliament.

Koh Choong Yong emphasised his experience speaking to people on the ground as a volunteer and member of WP. Following his loss in the 2011 election, reporters had asked if he would be leaving the party, but Koh said that he wanted to continue serving the people and contributing to the community.

Dylan Ng, too, expressed his desire to provide Singapore with alternative viewpoints. Citing his experience in speaking with people in various constituencies, he said that many Singaporeans were concerned with retirement and population issues.

During the question and answer session, Low emphasised the need not just for the PAP, but all parties, to take note of succession and renewal, so that Singaporeans would continue to have people to represent their views in local politics. Lim also emphasised the need to field new candidates so that they would have a chance to prove themselves.

The climate of fear was also a point of contention during the Q&A, as Low referred to the difficulties of building a credible opposition party in Singapore. The presence of government representatives in many aspects of Singaporean life was also highlighted as a cause for concern.

In further pushing the party’s message of empowerment, Low said that Singaporeans now have a more diverse parliament with greater opposition presence, but that it was still too early to tell if the country will now move towards a real two-party state. For now, he said, Singapore continues to see imbalance in Parliament.