Changi Airport Group Vice President for Terminal 5 Planning, Future Systems, Poh Li San that she would gladly serve Sembawang residents as a People’s Action Party politician if given the chance.
Addressing rumours that she might be fielded as a PAP candidate in the next general elections, Ms Poh said it was still too early to tell if she would be offered the chance to stand in the upcoming polls.
Speaking to reporters in the sidelines of the inaugural Women’s Festival 2019 at Kampung Admiralty on Sunday (24 March), Ms Poh said, “If there is an opportunity for me to serve residents at a deeper level, I will be most honoured to do so, and I will do my best as well. At this moment, it is still uncertain and is really up to anybody’s guess.”
“Right now, I am focused on making sure that I do my job well, run my events well in Sembawang and contribute to the community,” she added.
Ms Poh – a Singapore Armed Force scholarship (overseas) awardee – first rose to prominence in the Republic of Singapore Air Force as a helicopter pilot conducting search and rescue operations in a Super Puma helicopter. She was later appointed as a full-time aide-de-camp to the later President S R Nathan, the first woman to be appointed in that role.
Later, she joined Changi Airport Group and help conceptualise Terminal 4. She is also currently involved the planning of the new Terminal 5.
Since joining the PAP Sembawang branch in October 2018, Ms Poh has been an active grassroots leader, helping out MP Ong Ye Kung in his Meet-the-People Session every Monday in the Gembas ward.
She also has been appointed deputy chairman of the branch and appearing frequently on the Facebook pages of Sembawang GRC MPs Khaw Boon Wan and Vikram Nair.
All five Sembawang GRC MPs attended the Women’s Festival 2019 on Sunday which was organised by Ms Poh and members of the People’s Association Women’s Executive Committees in Sembawang GRC.
When asked if the current all-male line-up of Sembawang GRC MPs could use a female touch, Ms Poh said there were many benefits to having a female MP.
“Women may be sensitive to certain issues that they feel uncomfortable to share with a male MP. Having a woman’s voice among the team will (help us) focus on more women-oriented issues,” she said.
She added that while Singapore has a good job for gender equality in providing access to education and working opportunities over the last two decades and that the local culture is respectful of women who have started taking on leadership positions in business and government, more needs to be done. Especially, she highlighted, in the area of politics and exposing women to more opportunities in leadership.
She described her career as an “unusual” one, saying she had seized any opportunity that she came across, and encouraged others to do the same.
She also agree with the views of Minister of Manpower and Chair of PAP Women’s Wing Josephine Teo who earlier called for a concerted effort to encourage women to join politics.
Ms Poh continued, “It is a great call and a great way to get women to step forward and contribute to the community and country… We need to bring more women on board together, because it will be more powerful to work as a team of women leaders.”
From Ms Poh’s appearances and events that she’s organised or taking part in – such as this Women’s Festival – she’s making her presence known at the grassroots level. It’s likely that if she offered a chance to stand with PAP in the next elections, it would be in this constituency alongside Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.