The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) announced six more of its candidates who will be participating in the upcoming general election (GE) via an online press conference held on Monday (23 June).
Introducing the second slate of candidates to the press, PSP Secretary General Dr Tan Cheng Bock described them as “ordinary Singaporeans”.
First to be introduced was Dr Tan Meng Wah, an academic and former fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies until 2014. Dr Tan has done extensive research on income inequality and the government’s rent seeking policies. This includes a seminal paper that highlighted the shift in emphasis of Singapore’s economic development from income to wealth generation, which Dr Tan says has resulted in widening income inequality. Over his career, Dr Tan has also held various academic positions in various Singapore varsities.
Next up was chartered accountant Kayla Low Shu Yu, who is a chief operating officer and international finance professional with over a decade of experience. Ms Low currently runs a group of 15 companies, four of which are located abroad, spanning retail, manufacturing, transportation and travel. Ms Low described herself as ‘not a yes man, not a scholar, not an elite’, as she recalled her difficult and humble beginnings.
Ms Low advocates for an increase in support for the needed, underprivileged and local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also concerned over the employment policies, noting that she has “observed the harrowing predicament of Singaporeans due to the government’s immigration and foreign worker policies which have caused a widening of income gap.”
Also introduced was Dr Ang Yong Guan, a psychiatrist and a fellow of the Academy of Medicine in Singapore with 30 years of experience. Dr Ang has also served with the Singapore Armed Forces for 23 years from 1980 to 2003, retiring after serving 17 years as the Chief Psychiatrist. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (PPA) in 1996 for his contribution to the Singapore Armed Forces.
Following his SAF career, Dr Ang set up a clinic at Paragon Medical where he continues to be involved in clinical work while also teaching and lecturing at the Nanyang Polytechnic and Executive Counselling and Training Academy.
He was the President of the Singapore Psychiatric Association from 1996 to 1998 and the Chairman of the Chapter of Psychiatrists, the Singapore Academy of Medicine from 2001 to 2003. He was also a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling from 2005 to 2011 as well as a member of the Panel of Medical Experts, Subordinate Courts from 2012 to 2015.
This isn’t the first time Dr Ang is entering the world of politics, having contested before in the 2011 and 2015 GEs with the SDP and then SingFirst respectively. Before that, in 1995, Dr Ang was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) for his contribution as a community leader at Kembangan Constituency helping the then-MP Mr George Yeo for more than 15 years.
During the press conference, Dr Ang emphasised that there is a need for an improved quality of life in Singapore where people are able to speak their mind without fear. He also denounced complacency at the top, groupthink and an elitist government, which he noted are every entrenched in Singapore, as unhealthy.
Next up was National University of Singapore (NUS) law undergraduate Choo Shaun Ming. Mr Choo, who was a student leader when he was at Raffles, intends to secure a brighter future for millennial like himself by evolving the policies of yesteryear to be more relevant to the generation of today. The young politician is keen to use technology to come up with clearer and more realistic solutions to harness the local talent pool.
In his spare time, the 23-year old is involved in pro bono work to help people who may need an extra bit of legal knowledge such as working with HOME, FAST, TWC2 together with NUS Pro Bono office to reach out migrant workers to offer legal support and teach them about their rights.
Also introduced was Mr A’bas Bin Kasmani, a business consultant and trainer with over 35 years of experience in management, coaching, training, facilitating and advisory experience in various sectors. Dr Tan introduced him as a “man of character who displays moral courage”.
Mr A’bas is an active member of the Malay community and is determined to enrich them with good career opportunities for upward movement, and is seeking to level the playing field for all Singaporeans.
Last but not least was founder of Red Hat Singapore, Mr Harish Pillay. Red Hat is the ASEAN headquarter of US Company Red Hat Inc. which was acquired by IBM in 2019. Mr Pillay is also an adjunct professor at Nanyang Technological University and is a regular speaker at events such as the One Globe Forum.
Mr Pillay remains actively involved with the Internet Society Singapore chapter, the Singapore Computer Society and the Institute of Engineers, Singapore. Mentor to start-ups having once been a co-founder of the Linux Users’ Group in Singapore, he continues to work with global open source communities and government technology policy makers in ASEAN, India and Australia in driving policies and setting direction for open source technologies that are driving disruptive changes globally.
Mr Pillay is also an active humanitarian, having received the Overseas Mission Medal for leading SCDF rescue team to Aceh after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.