Singaporeans should avoid pigeonholing the new slate of candidates from the People’s Action Party (PAP) based on their profession, said the Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Friday (26 June).
In a virtual press conference today, Mr Chan was asked to respond to concerns that many of the PAP’s new candidates hail from the same backgrounds as current and former parliamentarians, who are civil servants, military personnel, doctors and lawyers.
In response, he noted that it is more important to consider the entire slate of 93 candidates who will be fielded.
“We have people from the business sector, people from the social sector, people from the public service sector. So I think we have covered the various sectors,” the Minister asserted.
Mr Chan also advised voters not to “pigeonhole people” based on their profession.
“More importantly, beyond just where they come from, we should avoid pigeonhole[ing] people just because of their profession.
“Each and every one of them, has a personality that deserves us to get to know them better, rather than to pigeonhole them into any particular profession or any particular character, just because they are from a certain background. I think that is the real diversity that we are (talking) about,” he stated.
When the Minister was asked on the lack of prospective Indian candidates, he said that the PAP had nine Indian candidates who served in the previous term of Government, six of whom were officeholders.
“So the quality of our Indian candidates is very high,” Mr Chan noted. “We are confident that as a slate, our representation of the Indian community is above national average.”
The PAP’s second assistant secretary-general introduced four more new candidates today, bringing the total number of new faces unveiled to 27.
They are: Carrie Tan Huimin, 38, executive director of the NGO Daughters of Tomorrow; Chan Hui Yih, 44, marketing director of Jingslink Marketing; Shawn Huang Wei Zhong, 38, director (enterprise development group) of Temasek Holdings; and Mariam Jaafar, 43, managing director and partner of Boston Consulting Group.
Meanwhile, Mr Chan said the PAP will be unveiling its manifesto on Saturday (27 June) before it reveals its full constituency teams over the next few days.