Mr Koh Choong Yong, 42, was introduced on 26 August as a Workers’ Party (WP) candidate.
Mr Koh had stood in Sengkang West SMC at the last elections in 2011 and had garnered a respectable 42 per cent of the vote against Dr Lam Pin Min of the People’s Action Party (PAP).
A Senior Software Engineer by profession, Mr Koh is married with two boys, and lives in Sengkang West itself.
He had grown up in Toa Payoh, where his parents ran a wet market stall.
Mr Koh attended school at Raffles Institution and later Raffles Junior College.
“His passion in the Chinese language and culture allowed him to be effectively bilingual,” the WP website says.
The Online Citizen (TOC) sat down for a chat with Mr Koh about two weeks ago, in the estate where Mr Koh calls home, and where he is expected to once again challenge the incumbent for residents’ support to be the Member of Parliament for the single-seat ward.
We spoke to Mr Koh about two weeks ago and, among other things, asked him what he would do to build rapport with his residents, if elected.
“When I was growing up, the Member of Parliament was considered somebody different,” Mr Koh said. “In fact, my parents always used to refer to the MP as ‘tuah liap nang’ [someone of status].”
“But for today, it is different. I work with different MPs in WP. The way they interact with residents [is] very personable, they join them in their tea sessions, they talk to them. The most important thing is to be approachable, be available to residents as much as possible such that if residents have problems which they would like to bring up to their MP, they would know the channel to go to.”
Mr Koh, who has also been the legislative assistant for MPs Mr Chen Show Mao and then Mr Png Eng Huat, also spoke about the reasons for his entry into politics, his views about the opposition working with the government and the civil service, and how he manages to juggle his time between his community work, career and caring for his family, including his special 7-year old second son.