By Biddy Low
Dr Ang Yong Guan is an animated man with a personable demeanour.
As he gets more impassioned with his words, his hands gesticulate more fervently, earnestly punctuating the points he holds dear.
We met up with the chairman of SingFirst for a chat, after a recent forum held by the party, which dealt with issues such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
Dr Ang had served as the chairman of the Punggol Community Club Management Committee some years ago, assisting a PAP MP for more than 15 years – until he decided to step into politics around 2003 because he felt, in his words, “something was not quite right.”
“They were heading in the wrong direction,” he said, referring to the government.
He now wants to pave the way for others to step forth to serve in politics, and to remove the climate of fear which he says still prevails here.
Dr Ang served as a psychiatrist with the Singapore Armed Forces for 17 years from 1986 to 2003 and retired from the SAF as a Colonel, holding the appointment as the head of Psychological Medicine Branch (currently known as Psychological Care Centre) at the Military Medicine Institute, HQMC.
Apart from his impressive credentials in the military, Dr Ang was also the president of the Singapore Psychiatric Association (1997-1998); chairman of the Chapter of Psychiatrists, Academy of Medicine (2001- 2003); founder/chairman of Action Group for Mental Illness (since 2004); member of National Council on Problem Gambling (since 2005); and member of the Clinical Advisory Committee for Chronic Disease Management Programme (since 2009).
Dr Ang was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1995 for community work, and the Public Administration Medal in 1996 for military services.
He is currently in private practice at Paragon Medical.
In the video below, we speak to Dr Ang – who contested in the last elections under the Singapore Democratic Party’s banner – on his views about the CPF and the government’s foreign labour policy, his personal ethos that led him into opposition politics and whether his party’s name carries xenophobic connotations.